23rd Mar 2018

Germans long for D-Mark, poll shows

  • A majority of Germans think they would be better off without the euro (Photo: Valentina Pop)

Two thirds of Germans think they would be better off with the Deutschmark instead of the euro, according to a survey published on Monday (17 September) by Bertelsmann Stiftung, a German foundation.

The study, carried out in Germany, France and Poland - the three countries in the so-called Weimar triangle - shows that Poland is also very sceptical about the common currency, while the French still think it is better to have the euro than the franc.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

EU membership is generally speaking popular among the Germans, with 52 percent saying they benefit personally from being part of the 27-strong union.

But when it comes to specific policies - such as a single labour market or guarantees for social rights - they are rather sceptical.

When asked whether they would be better off if the EU did not exist at all, 49 percent of Germans answered Yes.

Only 29 percent said they thought things would be worse and 52 percent thought they would have better or at least equal chances on the labour market without the EU.

For half of Germans, the EU is failing to strike the right balance between a free market and social responsibility. And almost just as many (48%) think that social rights are rather put at risk by EU membership than protected.

This opinion is shared mostly by the middle-aged and elderly, as well as people with lower education and income.

What the EU is good for, in the eyes of the Germans, is to serve as a shield against global competition, as almost 60 percent believe the bloc is necessary to keep up with big global powers and emerging economies.

Some 70 percent also think the EU is a good role model for other regions in the world.

But when it comes to the future of EU integration, only a third of Germans think it will go forward, while 35 percent think it will be reversed and 27 percent say it will stay the same.

Polish and French support

Even though only 20 percent of Poles are in favour of the euro, their answers are very favourable when it comes to the EU.

Majorities in both France and Poland said EU membership allowed for a better personal situation and job opportunities, as well as social rights.

Freedom of movement is also perceived similarly in the three countries. Poles, who had experienced the Iron Curtain before 1989, were the most favourable, with 92 percent saying every EU citizen should travel passport-free around the bloc.

But over 60 percent of Germans and French were also in favour, despite their governments having taken a hard line on allowing newcomers Romania and Bulgaria to the passport-free Schengen area.

One question the tree countries diverged on was about "European identity," with 66 percent of Poles saying they could imagine what it is, while only 26 percent of the French said it meant something to them. Germans were somewhere in between, at 44 percent.

Germans blame EU for economic problems

A large majority of Germans associate the European Union with economic and social problems and as many as 84 per cent fear jobs may be lost to EU countries where labour costs are lower, according to new survey.

Merkel surprisingly popular in Spain

Half of Spaniards approve of German leader Merkel's leadership in the euro-crisis, while blaming their own politicians for the economic gloom.

Trump keeps EU leaders waiting on tariffs

European leaders postponed their reaction to US announcement that the EU would be exempted from tariffs on steel and aluminium. "The devil is often in the details", said the Belgian PM.

VW dismisses complaints on Dieselgate fix

'I think customers who want to get information (...) are able to receive information if they want," VW management board member Hiltrud Werner told EUobserver. Consumer groups disagree.

News in Brief

  1. EU wants 'Paris' climate strategy within 13 months
  2. Workload of EU court remains high
  3. Spain's supreme court charges Catalan separatist leaders
  4. EU calls for 'permanent' exemption from US tariffs
  5. Summit backs guidelines for future EU-UK talks
  6. Macron support drops as public sector workers go on strike
  7. EU leaders condemn Turkey for illegal actions in Aegean Sea
  8. Parliament must publish 'trilogue' documents, court says

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverStart a Career in EU Media. Apply Now to Become Our Next Sales Associate
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?

Latest News

  1. Europe needs corporate tax reform - a digital tax isn't it
  2. EU data chiefs rally behind UK over Cambridge Analytica
  3. Russian diplomats risk EU expulsions over UK attack
  4. Three presidents should attend Bosnia memorial
  5. Trump keeps EU leaders waiting on tariffs
  6. EU summit takes hard look at Russia
  7. Germany casts doubt on Austrian intelligence sharing
  8. EU leaders set for 'stormy debate' on digital tax at summit