Saturday, November 19, 2016

Citizens' support for EU remains steady, but future uncertain: poll

The majority of European Union (EU) citizens believe that being a member of the bloc is good for their country, but are also concerned about the future, a poll commissioned by the European Parliament revealed on Friday.

The "Parlemeter" poll found that 53 percent of the Europeans interviewed supported their country's EU membership, although the rate dropped by 2.0 percent from 2015.

The result shows that the EU support indicator has remained roughly stable since 2009, when it was also 53 percent.

Thirty-five percent of the respondents agree that the EU "contributes to economic growth in their country," with the highest rate registered in the Netherlands at 62 percent.

  • The share of respondents who consider the EU membership a good thing for their country varies widely, from 74 percent in Ireland to only 31 percent in Greece. 

In addition, according to 71 percent of the respondents, there are more issues uniting Europeans than dividing them.

However, people do not have a positive view of the future, with 54 percent of respondents saying "things are going in the wrong direction," a figure which is up 13 percent compared with 2015.

  • Moreover, citizens from 13 members think the situation is getting worse in their own country than in the EU as a whole, including Greece, France, Poland, Belgium, Italy and Spain. 

The poll was conducted in all 28 EU members through face-to-face interviews with 27,768 citizens aged 15 and above, from Sept. 24 to Oct. 3.

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