Friday

24th Nov 2017

Public support for EU rising ahead of elections

  • Is the public mood more favourable to the EU institutions as elections approach? (Photo: europarl.europa.eu)

Public support for the European Union is seeing a gradual recovery, just in time for next week's European Parliament elections, according to a new survey of seven EU nations.

The study by the Pew Research Centre, a Washington-based think tank, found that more than 50 percent of Europeans had a favourable image of the EU, up from 46 percent in 2013.

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.

The EU's four largest member states - Germany, France, the UK and Italy - as well as Spain, Poland and Greece were the countries surveyed.

But politicians hoping that a rebound in public support for the EU will be reflected by results at the ballot box may be disappointed. Two thirds of voters, who have the chance to go to the polls next week, agreed with statements that the EU's institutions do not understand the needs of their citizens' or listen to their voice.

The number of people saying that they viewed the EU favourably increased in six of the seven countries surveyed, with a 13 percent spike in support in France, the most significant rise.

Conversely, Italians appear to be increasingly disgruntled with 46 percent, down from 58 percent last year, viewing the EU favourably.

Fears of a north/south divide also appear to be borne out in the survey: 34 percent of Greeks and 50 percent of Spaniards view the EU favourably, compared to 66 percent and 72 percent in Germany and Poland, respectively.

Economic sentiments are also more positive in the EU's northern member states.

That said, all countries bar Italy registered strong majorities in favour of remaining in the euro.

"The euro crisis that began in 2008 dealt a savage blow to the image of the European Union ... But views of the EU and the European project may have begun to recover in the past year," the report said.

Meanwhile, a Eurobarometer poll also released on Monday (12 May) indicated a small over half of Europeans (53%) say that they are positive about the future of the EU

But a small majority of Europeans still fear that worse is still to come in terms of employment prospects in the EU, 49 percent of those survey said that dealing with the record levels of unemployment across the bloc should be the main policy priority.

Analysis

Survey spotlights pro-EU Brits, anti-EU Italians

The good news was that over 50 percent of Europeans have a favourable view of the EU. The bad news that most Europeans still think that the EU is remote, doesn't listen and is inefficient.

Focus

Belgium, Spain, France field most senior MEPs in EU vote

Political parties in Belgium, Spain and France have put more experienced politicians on the ballot, while MEP candidates from the Czech Republic, Denmark and the Netherlands are the least experienced.

Irish crisis may complicate Brexit summit

Snap elections are on the horizon in Ireland over the future of Irish PM's right-hand woman, three weeks before Irish PM is due in Brussels for a crucial Brexit vote.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel: Germany remains 'active' in EU
  2. Work with Israel, Egypt on gas exploration, says Commission
  3. Only seven EU states have 'advanced' stage climate plans
  4. EU dashes integration hopes of eastern countries
  5. EU approves joint Irish electricity scheme
  6. German president to launch 'Grand Coalition' talks
  7. Irish opposition 'threatens national interest', says minister
  8. SPD drops opposition to grand coalition in Germany

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Friends of ArmeniaPresident Sargsyan Joined EuFoA Honorary Council Inaugural Meeting
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Ministers Pledge to Work More Closely at Nordic and EU Level
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Leaders Should Press Azerbaijan President to End the Detention of Critics
  4. European Friends of ArmeniaLaunch of Honorary Council on the Occasion of the Eastern Partnership Summit and CEPA
  5. CECEKey Stakeholders to Jointly Tackle the Skills Issue in the Construction Sector
  6. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  7. EPSUStudy Finds TUNED and Employers in Central Governments Most Representative
  8. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  9. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  10. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  11. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  12. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver

Latest News

  1. What Armenia's new agreement with the EU means
  2. Member states still lack definition of 'energy poverty'
  3. Chinese the most bullish on EU investment, report finds
  4. Lead MEP says EU is weeks away from deal on car approvals
  5. EU still giving gas projects 'fast-track' status
  6. Irish crisis may complicate Brexit summit
  7. UK to call out 'hostile' Russia at EU summit
  8. EU calls for better disease prevention