Tuesday

9th Aug 2022

Approval of EU leadership lowest in Greece

  • Spain's indignados - approval of EU leadership has plummeted in Spain (Photo: Ametxa)

Support for the EU was lowest in Greece in 2013 while Spain registered the sharpest drop in support between the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008 and last year.

A survey published Wednesday (8 January) by Gallup showed that just 19 percent of Greeks approved of the "job performance" of the EU's leadership in 2013. The same was true of 21 percent of Cypriots.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Both countries received bailouts from the EU and the International Monetary Fund with the money accompanied by tough programmes that have slashed public spending. Unemployment has soared and growth slumped in the two member states.

The EU remained scarcely more appreciated in several other countries with less than a third approving of the EU's leadership in the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, and Sweden.

Spain registered the largest decrease in support between 2008 and 2013, dropping from 59 percent to 27 percent last year.

Affection for the EU also slumped in Ireland, a country that has just exited its bailout following years of austerity. While 70 percent approved of the EU in 2008, 47 percent did so in 2013 - a drop of 23 percentage points.

But it was not only bailout countries or countries particularly affected by the economic crisis where affection for the EU waned strongly.

Sweden saw a 17 point drop over the six-year period; Finland a 14 point drop and Denmark a 10 point drop.

Meanwhile the Netherlands - which has increasing debated the merits of the EU amid rising euroscepticism - went from 59 percent support in 2008 to 48 percent last year.

EU leadership saw the highest approval in 2013 in Luxembourg (67%), Germany (59%) and Belgium (56%).

It also saw its support rise in some countries between 2008-2013 with Austria showing a 11-point rise to 47 percent and Italy a nine-point rise to 43 percent.

However of the 27 member states surveyed (Croatia was not included), the approval level in 2013 was higher than 50 percent in just four countries.

The Gallup survey also indicates that the record unemployment rates among young people in euro periphery countries is taking a toll on the EU's popularity among 15-30 year olds.

EU leadership approval among young Greeks dropped from 61 percent in 2009 to 19 percent in 2013, while young Italians registered went from 48 percent approval in 2008 to 34 percent last year. Spain showed a 34 point plummet over the same period, and Ireland an 18 point drop.

The poll comes just ahead of the EU elections in May, with European politicians already nervous that the ballot will lead to record gains for anti-EU parties.

Draghi's grip on power finally unravels

Italy looked set to lose its highly-respected prime minister Mario Draghi on Thursday, after his attempt to relaunch his grand coalition government ended with right-wing parties joining the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) in deserting him.

Column

Albania's post-communist dream has lessons for Ukraine

Comparisons between post-communist Albania and current-day Ukraine are fascinating — and make many pertinent parallels. Ukrainians have a similar determination to belong to "the rest of Europe" as Albanians.

Opinion

Finally, the victims of Utøya got a memorial

A legal battle between locals on the one hand and the state and the labour youth organisation on the other side postponed the inception of the memorial in remembrance of the victims of Anders Behring Breivik.

News in Brief

  1. Rhine river on the brink of closure for shipping
  2. Moldova sees 'prelude to war' with Russia-backed forces
  3. Taliban preventing Afghan evacuations to Germany
  4. Amnesty regrets 'distress' caused by Ukraine report
  5. Energy companies warn UK gas exports to EU are contaminated
  6. EU set for clash over rules on political adverts
  7. Three grain ships due to leave Ukraine on Friday
  8. EU on track to reach gas-storage November target

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Latest News

  1. Italy poised to elect far-right rulers
  2. UN chief demands access to nuclear plant after new attack
  3. Greek PM embroiled in spyware scandal
  4. How Ukraine made the case anew for an EU army
  5. 'We must take back institutions', Orban tells US conservatives
  6. Putin must lose Ukraine war, Nato chief says
  7. Let Taiwan's democracy shine brighter
  8. Droughts prompt calls to cut water use amid harvest fears

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us