Monday

23rd May 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.

Opinion

Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine - the case for granting EU candidacy

Granting EU candidacy status to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine will firmly anchor their ties with Brussels — and enable the EU to secure its place in the Black Sea region, connecting Europe to China and energy-rich Central Asia, bypassing Russia.

Opinion

The EU Parliament Covid inquiry: the questions MEPs must ask

A basic lack of transparency around the EU's vaccines procurement negotiations has prevented effective public and parliamentary scrutiny. It has also made it impossible to answer some of the key questions we put forward here.

News in Brief

  1. UK to send 'hundreds' of migrants to Rwanda each year
  2. Norwegian knife attacks were domestic dispute
  3. Sweden hits back at Turkey's 'disinformation' in Nato bid
  4. Germany's Schröder gives up one of two Russia jobs
  5. G7 countries pledge €18bn in financial aid for Ukraine
  6. Italian unions strike in protest over military aid for Ukraine
  7. Russia cuts gas supply to Finland
  8. Half of Gazprom's clients have opened rouble accounts

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. Missing guns amid rising far-right hate in EU
  2. MEPs boycott trip after Israeli snub
  3. What Europe still needs to do to save its bees
  4. Remembering Falcone: How Italy almost became a narco-state
  5. Economic worries and Hungary on the spot Next WEEK
  6. MEPs urge sanctioning the likes of ex-chancellor Schröder
  7. MEPs call for a more forceful EU response to Kremlin gas cut
  8. Catalan leader slams Pegasus use: 'Perhaps I'm still spied on'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us