Saturday

21st Apr 2018

Poll: French most pessimistic about economic future

  • The worst is yet to come believe a majority of French (Photo: Palagret)

Europeans are feeling a bit more positive about the EU than they were late last year but well over a third still feel "neutral" about it while a quarter feel outright negative about it.

The Eurobarometer survey, published Friday (25 July), showed that 35 percent of citizens feel positive about the EU, up 4 percentage points on autumn 2013 - the most significant increase between surveys since 2006/7.

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.

While 25 percent have a "very negative" view of the EU, this represents a 3 percent drop since the last survey and continues the downward trend from a high of 29 percent in 2012 at the height of the economic crisis.

Just over half (52%) feels their voice does not count in the EU down from 66 percent last year while the number believing their voice is heard has leapt by 13 points to 42 percent, something the pollsters suggest is due to the May EU elections to the European Parliament – held just before the survey.

But the EU average hides large differences between member states. Three-quarters of Cypriots (75%) don't think their voice is heard, while a similar feeling of being disregarded at the EU level is felt by the Czechs, Latvians and Greeks (74% each) and by the Italians (73%).

At the other end of the scale the Swedes, Danes and Dutch are most inclined to feel they are being listened to in Brussels.

Meanwhile, trust at both the EU and the national level remains low, clocking in at 31 percent for the European Union. In 2007, before the economic crisis started, trust in the EU was 57 percent.

There is a wide spread among member states in attitudes about the future of the EU with almost two thirds of Greeks (56%) - whose country is undergoing harsh EU-imposed austerity measures in return for a bailout - "totally pessimistic" about the EU.

They were joined in their pessimism by the UK (45%), the only other country where more felt a black outlook than a positive outlook about the EU.

Germans topped the league of those feeling their economy was "good" (84%) followed by Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden and Malta.

The same was true of only four percent in Spain, Greece and Portugal while in France, the eurozone's second biggest economy, eight percent felt the country's economy was good.

The biggest drop in positive feelings about the economy was in Finland down 11 percentage points (to 36%) since last autumn.

The single currency is viewed in a positive light by most Europeans (55%), ranging from a high of 88 percent in eurozone state Estonia and a low of 16 percent in the UK, which does not have the euro.

Latvia, which joined the single currency in January 2013, saw the biggest increase in support since autumn (15 percentage points to 68%) while Lithuania, on course to join it in 2014, also saw a jump in support of 10 points to 50 percent.

Germany, which has paid out the most towards bailouts, remains largely in favour of the euro (75%) while support has risen in struggling and bailed-out periphery countries, Portugal, Cyprus and Greece.

More Europeans (47%) feel the crisis has reached its peak in terms of job loss than feel the worst is yet to come (44%). Overall eight states, including Germany, Spain and the UK, saw a switch from the majority view being optimistic rather than pessimistic.

French people are the most anxious about the future. Only 34 percent feel the jobs crisis has peaked compared with 60 percent who are bracing themselves for a darker economic future. Italy is the other major euro state where there are more pessimists (48%) than optimists (47%).

Most Europeans back migrant curbs, poll finds

Most Europeans believe that migrant workers from other EU countries have been bad for their country and would like to restrict freedom of movement, a new opinion poll suggests.

Irish people most optimistic on EU future

Most Europeans believe the EU faces a brighter future, according to a new poll which also says Irish people are the bloc’s greatest optimists.

Macron and Merkel pledge euro reform

France and Germany have pledged to forge a joint position on euro reform by June, despite German reluctance on deeper monetary union.

News in Brief

  1. Audit office: Brexit 'divorce' bill could be billions higher
  2. MEPs urge better protection for journalists
  3. Dieselgate: MEPs back greater role for EU in car approvals
  4. European parliament adopts new organic farming rules
  5. EU granted protection to half million people in 2017
  6. Report: Facebook to carve 1.5bn users out of EU privacy law
  7. Greek court ruling permits migrants to travel to mainland
  8. Commonwealth summit hopes for trade boost after Brexit

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  2. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  3. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  4. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  5. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  6. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  7. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  9. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  10. Counter BalanceThe EIB Needs to Lead by Example on Tax Justice
  11. ILGA EuropeTrans People in Sweden to be Paid Compensation for Forced Sterilisation
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Danger of Standing Up for Justice and Rights in Central Asia

Latest News

  1. ECJ ruling set to end 10-year 'mouth tobacco' lobbying saga
  2. Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK
  3. MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes
  4. Macron and Merkel pledge euro reform
  5. Obscurity surrounds EU military fund's expert groups
  6. New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability
  7. Draghi to stay in secretive 'lobby' group
  8. Bulgaria offers lesson in tackling radical-right populists

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Must Work Together to Promote Global Steel Sector
  2. Swedish EnterprisesEU Tax Proposal on Digital Services Causes Concern for Small Exporting Economies
  3. Europea Jewish CongressCondemns the Horrific Murder of Holocaust Survivor Mireille Knoll in Paris
  4. Mission of China to the EUAn Open China Will Foster a World-Class Business Environment
  5. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  6. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  7. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  8. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  9. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  10. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  11. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  12. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights