Saturday

27th Aug 2016

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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary plans to reinforce border fence against migrants
  2. France's highest court suspends burkini ban
  3. Greeks paid €1bn more in taxes in June
  4. Greek minister denounces EU letter on former statistics chief
  5. Turks seeking asylum in Greece may cause diplomatic row
  6. Merkel becomes digital resident of Estonia
  7. Report: VW will compensate US dealers with €1bln
  8. EU mulls making Google pay news media for content

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. GoogleBrussels - home of beer, fries, chocolate and Google’s Public Policy Team - follow @GoogleBrussels
  2. HuaweiSeeds for the Future Programme to Bring Students from 50 countries to China for Much-Needed ICT Training
  3. EFASpain is not a democratic state. EFA expresses its solidarity to Arnaldo Otegi and EH Bildu
  4. UNICEFBoko Haram Violence in Lake Chad Region Leaves Children Displaced and Trapped
  5. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  6. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  7. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Confirms the Application of Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  8. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  9. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  10. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER
  11. EURidNominate Your Favourite .eu or .ею Website for the .EU Web Awards 2016 Today!
  12. Dialogue PlatformAn Interview on Gulen Movement & Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey