21st Oct 2020

New poll shows declining support for EU

A new poll published today has shown that EU citizens are increasingly sceptical about whether EU membership is a good thing or not.

The survey of over 16,000 EU citizens, conducted by Eurobarometer, showed that people who think the EU is "a good thing" have declined by six percent from March and that citizens who think the EU is "a bad thing" have increased by four percent.

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  • Over three times more people are in favour of the EU than against it (Photo: European Commission)

Despite this decline in support, over three times more people are still in favour of the EU than against it (48 percent against 15 percent).

Amongst the Member States, the only country which has a majority against the EU is the UK (where 29 percent think the EU is a bad thing, compared to 28 percent in favour). The most enthusiastic country in Luxembourg where the ratio is 77 percent to six in favour.

Support for Constitution high

There is overwhelming support amongst EU citizens for the Constitution - which may be adopted by EU leaders this coming weekend. Amongst EU Member States, 62 percent are in favour of a Constitution and only 10 percent against.

Support is also high for a common EU foreign policy and a common EU defence policy. EU states are 64 - 22 in favour of a common foreign policy and 70 - 19 in favour of a common defence policy.

But the euro is less popular

The percentage of people in favour of the European single currency has dropped dramatically since March, with nine percent more people declaring themselves against the euro across the 12 countries that share the currency. Support is still strong across the zone with 67 percent in favour and 28 percent against.

But in the big three euro zone countries, there has been a large swing against the euro. In Germany, opposition to the currency has grown by 11 percent, by eight percent in France and by 13 percent in Italy.

Commenting on the results, Commission President Romano Prodi said, "bitter disputes like that over the Stability and Growth Pact and unseemly horse-trading between national governments detract from the good work which is going on in the EU to build a better society for everyone".

Mr Prodi continued, "I hope that EU leaders will take due note of the results of this poll when they sit down later this week to conclude negotiations on the Constitutional Treaty".

"What we should aim for is an agreement which can meet the very real concerns of ordinary people".

Germany asks capitals to give a little in EU budget impasse

European Parliament negotiators are demanding €39bn in new funding for EU programmes such as Horizon research and Erasmus, in talks with the German EU presidency on the budget. Meanwhile, rule-of-law enforcement negotiations have only just begun.

EU budget talks suspended in fight for new funds

MEPs are requesting additional, new funding of €39bn for 15 EU programs. The German presidency argues that budget ceilings, agreed by EU leaders at a marathon summit in July, will be impossible to change without a new leaders' meeting.

EU countries stuck on rule of law-budget link

Divisions among EU governments remain between those who want to suspend EU funds if rule of law is not respected, and those who want to narrow down conditionality.

MEPs warn of 'significant gaps' in budget talks

The budget committee chair said the European Parliament expects tangible improvements to the package in its talks with member states - while the German minister argued that the EU leaders' deal was difficult enough.

Top EU officials urge MEPs give quick budget-deal approval

MEPs criticised the EU deal on the budget and recovery package clinched by leaders after five days of gruelling talks, saying it is not enough "future-oriented", and cuts too deeply into EU policies, including health, innovation, defence and humanitarian aid

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