Tuesday

20th Feb 2018

Europeans more positive about EU, survey shows

  • Respondents were asked: Does your voice count in the EU? 47% said yes, 48% said no. (Photo: European Parliament)

Europeans increasingly believe that their voice matters in European affairs, a study ordered by the European Parliament showed on Wednesday (18 October).

The survey results showed that 47 percent of respondents felt "their voice counts in the EU", which is the highest level since June 2009.

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.

  • In the UK, some 55% said their country benefited from EU membership. (Photo: Guled Ahmed)

Inversely, 48 percent said they felt their voice did not count. This was the lowest in eight years.

The study was carried out by Kantar Public, which interviewed 27,881 Europeans in September and October.

More Europeans (61 percent) think their voice counted at the national level, but Romanian and Lithuanian respondents said they thought their voice counted more at the EU level than at home.

Membership of the EU is also supported by the majority of respondents.

Just like the survey from six months earlier, 57 percent of the answers said that their country's membership of the EU is "a good thing". That was almost as high as in 2007, when 58 percent agreed with the statement. Over the past decade, May 2011 saw the lowest percentage of people agreeing (47 percent).

Some 28 percent thought their country's membership was neither good or bad, while 12 percent - the lowest in ten years - said membership was a bad thing.

The survey also included interviews in the UK, which is due to leave the EU by March 2019.

Britons happy with EU 'on balance'

While lower than the EU average, a good 55 percent of UK respondents said that "taking everything into account", the UK has "on balance" benefited from EU membership.

That was a more positive review of the EU than the one given by citizens from Austria (53 percent), Greece (48 percent), Cyprus (45 percent) and Italy (39 percent).

Irish respondents were most positive, with 90 percent saying their country had benefited.

In Poland, 84 percent said their country had benefited, while in Hungary 72 percent agreed with that notion.

The EU average was 64 percent - the highest in a decade.

However, there are differing reasons for thinking that EU membership has been beneficial.

For example, both in Denmark and Estonia, 81 percent of respondents said their country benefited.

But in Denmark, the main reason was because it allowed Denmark to cooperate with other EU countries, whereas Estonians saw more of a benefit in the EU's contribution to economic growth.

The researchers also asked what EU objective should be protected.

Interestingly, the most frequent answer in the UK (46 percent) was the freedom to travel, work and study across the EU - a right which featured prominently in the referendum campaign ahead of the UK's decision to leave, and one Britons are expected to lose after Brexit.

Respondents in the Nordic countries, the Netherlands, and Germany, tended to say that fundamental rights and freedoms were the most important, while Mediterranean countries most often mentioned labour rights.

Europeans more optimistic about EU since Brexit vote

Perceptions of the EU have increased significantly in France, and Europeans generally feel more optimistic about the future of the bloc since last autumn - despite Brexit and a surge in populism.

EU rejects UK claim it's slowing Brexit talks

The EU is "not confident, but hopeful" that the UK will achieve sufficient progress for 'stage 2' by December, as Britain's Brexit negotiator blames the slow pace of negotiations on the EU ahead of a crucial summit meeting.

Merkel defends her coalition government

The German chancellor admitted that the agreement with the social-democrats was "painful" but "acceptable", and insisted she wanted to stay in power for four years.

German coalition talks drag on

Christian Democrats and Social Democrats were still negotiating in the early hours of Wednesday. But the already agreed chapter on Europe is the "most Europeanised approach for years", says one expert.

Far-right parties re-register to access EU funds

After missing a funding deadline, the far-right nationalist Alliance for Peace and Freedom and the Alliance of European National Movements are back in the game and possibly eligible for EU money in 2019.

Commission tells Macron to pick political side

A European Commission paper calls on parties to show their colours before the May 2019 parliament elections, and to choose their successor to Juncker before the end of 2018.

News in Brief

  1. MEPs approve anti-smuggling bill on tobacco
  2. SPD members start voting on new Merkel-led government
  3. Barroso lobbied Katainen for Goldman Sachs
  4. Berlusconi's coalition ahead with 34.7% support
  5. Moscovici: Greece '99 percent' there to get new bailout
  6. Simone Veil to enter France's Pantheon in July
  7. German poll puts far-right AfD ahead of SPD for first time
  8. Commissioners poised to join EU-Mexico trade talks

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  2. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  3. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  4. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  5. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  6. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  7. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  9. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  10. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name
  11. Dialogue PlatformBeyond the Errors in the War on Terror: How to Fight Global Militarism - 22 February
  12. Swedish EnterprisesHarnessing Globalization- at What Cost? Keynote Speaker Commissioner Malmström

Latest News

  1. A European budget: securing a prosperous future for Europe
  2. Poland wrong to log in ancient forest, says EU lawyer
  3. EU taxpayers risk bailing out MEP pension scheme
  4. Commissioner Katainen confirms Barroso lobbied him
  5. Eurogroup chief pledge on transparency after meeting MPs
  6. Poland shows no sign of concessions to Commission
  7. Spain's De Guindos to be ECB vice-president
  8. Conservative 'buccaneering Brexit' narrative unrealistic