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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The new Eurobarometer is out. Here's what you won't find in the European Commission's press release

The latest Eurobarometer is out, and as per tradition, the European Commission does its best to spin the findings of a survey that, particularly since the eurozone crisis broke out, hardly makes for happy reading.

The press release accompanying the latest Eurobarometer carries the headline, "A greater dose of optimism", which is justified by the fact that "those saying they are optimistic about the EU's future outnumber those who say they are pessimistic in 19 out of 28 countries".

Now, here are a couple of findings from the same survey that you won't find in the European Commission's press release (but are available here):
  • The number of those who "tend not to trust" the EU is again at 60% - a +3% increase from the previous survey. The total figure includes 83% of Cypriots (+19% from the previous survey), 80% of Greeks (-1%), 75% of Spaniards (+3%) and 71% of Portuguese (+13%). To be fair, the level of confidence in national governments/parliaments in these countries is even lower - but that shouldn't be of great consolation.
  • On the question "do you feel a citizen of the EU?", a majority (62%) of respondents agree, although in three countries more people disagreed than agreed with this statement. That this includes the UK may not be a big surprise, but that Greece and Cyprus are on there as well shows how badly the crisis management has tarnished the EU's reputation.

  • A relative majority of Europeans have a neutral image of the EU (39%, =), and the proportion of respondents for whom it conjures up a positive image continues to be just higher than the proportion for whom it is negative (30% positive, unchanged; 29% negative, unchanged). Again, in Greece, Cyprus, Spain and Portugal a majority (sometimes relative, sometimes absolute) of respondents have "a negative image" of the EU.
  • Two-thirds of Europeans say that their voice does not count in the EU (67%), a 3-point increase taking this score to its highest level since autumn 2004 when the question was first asked. This proportion has increased almost continuously since spring 2009, from 53%. Only just over a quarter of respondents (28%, -3) agree that their voice counts in the EU.
  • 49% of total respondents don't think the EU "makes the quality of life better in Europe", compared with 43% who think it does.
  • On the euro, public opinion is hugely divided with only a 9% net approval rating - 51%, support it and 42% oppose it. In countries that are euro members approval stands at 62% (down 4% since Autumn 2012) but only at 29% in non-euro countries. 


Rik said...

As mentioned earlier the trend is clearly South and there is nothing in sight that looks like it could break or even stop that trend.
Not too far from a 50/50 situation and from there chance will determine (like when election are held, which parties are EU sceptic, which parties form the goverment etc) what the outcome will be.
The reason (bad economy also relatively to non EZ peers and EZ problems) why the trend is negative will as said most likely continue most likely and for a period much longer than the usual term of a government.

It simply has all in it that the EU is moving fast into a legitimacy/democratic problem.
With as added complication that it just needs one country to create a terrible mess and one EZ country to bring the thing in fully uncharted waters.

They start to realize that there is a problem but hard to see how you can PR an EU made disaster 'paper away'.
Anyway communication is very clumsy.
Economy always no 1 on the list and mismanagement (and badly dealing with that) also hardly popular especially in te North (South is used to that). I simply donot see how you can spin that in any credible way even if you have your PR fully under control (quod non).

Denis Cooper said...

It's a pity that Eurobarometer dropped the previous question about how "European" people felt.

48% of the British may feel that they are EU citizens, but that doesn't mean that they particularly like being EU citizens.

The treacherous Major had that legal status imposed upon us, of course without daring to stand up like a man and ask us directly whether we wanted that, or indeed anything else in his Maastricht Treaty.

Here's the table of the UK results for that earlier question from 1992 until 2010, when it was felt better to quietly stop asking it:


Those describing themselves as "British only" never dropped below 49% and by 2010 that had risen to 70%, while those describing themselves as "European only" never went above 6% and by 2010 that had dropped to 2%; we are all EU citizens, but there is little feeling of being European to justify the imposition of that legal status.

Anonymous said...

The people in most European Countries don't want to be in the EU but the politicians tell us we do. In the UK at the moment we keep being told crime is reducing but most individuals know it isn't.
As usual the politicians can't be trusted, they just keep their nose in the trough and keep lying.

Rollo said...

Luxemburg is a beneficiary of EU spending. Malta is still in its honeymoon; but the two legs which prop it up, British Retirees and British Holiday makers, are being cut off. Ryan Air fares are reducing closer to flight dates close to the holiday season, as few can afford to stay there; and British residents are being priced out by Euro prices. A disaster will fall on them soon: sorry. If those two are taken out as outliers, and as the red curtain descends year on year in your graph, the end of the EU chugs ever closer. But we should still get out rather than go down with it.

Anonymous said...

It would seem to be that the eussr is failing in its aledged aims although no doubt the politicians are still gaining from it.

Anonymous said...

Is there any indication as to what someone means when they say that they feel that they are a citizen of the EU? How can you be a citizen of a supranational body that functions through national governments - surely this is tantamount to being a citizen of the UN.

clinihyp said...

Thanks for that. Ambrose Evans- Pritchard has an excellent article on this disaster in the Telegraph! Asa might be expected, the EU trolls are trying to discredit it