Pro-European sentiment on the rise in Europe

Opinion towards the EU's economic situation improve in the UK and Germany. [Marcmo/Flickr]

Pro-European sentiment is on the rise in the seven main European nations, but frustrations with Brussels remain intense on the eve of the European elections.

The American Pew Research Centre has published a study on Europeans' attitudes towards the EU. Perhaps the most surprising part of the study is that there has been an increase in pro-European feeling between 2013 and 2014.

In France, support for the European project increased from 41% in 2013 to 54% in 2014. This is an unexpected result given the increasing popularity of eurosceptic parties in recent opinion polls.

“Support for the European Union may be rebounding just in time for the European Parliament elections,” the researchers said.

UK turnaround

In the United Kingdom, where the political debate has focused on whether Britain should leave the EU, sentiment is equally positive, with the Pew Centre speaking of a "turnaround".

"An improved economic outlook may have bolstered support for the European project: 52% of the British public now has a positive view of the European Union." 54% of British people also believe that European integration "has strengthened the economy", up from 26% in 2013.

British Mood Brightens

Ideological attachment

The study focuses on seven EU member states (Italy, Greece, Germany, France, the UK, Spain and Poland). It emphasised the strong relationship between European citizens and the ideology of the European project.

Even in Greece, where people have been very critical of the EU, 59% of people believe that the EU is a world power. However, 85% of Greek people also think that the EU does not understand its citizens and 70% describe it as inefficient, compared to 50% in France.

Feelings regarding the economic situation are diverse and mostly negative. Germany and the UK are exceptions, where 85% of Germans and 43% of British believe that the economic situation is good. This represents an increase of more than a quarter (28%) in the UK in just one year.

On average, more than half (52%) of those from the seven countries believe that the EU is good, compared to just 46% one year ago.

Important implications

On the eve of the European elections, many Europeans believe that their vote will count at a European level. Despite this, only 29% of those questioned feel that their voices are being heard in Brussels.

Frustrations with Europe are more common among those right of the political spectrum in the UK, Italy, Poland and Germany. However, in Italy and Greece, the strongest anti-Europe sentiments come from sympathisers of the left.

  • 22-25 May 2014: European elections to be held in all 28 member countries
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Barry's picture

Who on earth did they ask? the people working for the eussr because no one in their right mind would think that the current economy is good it's unstable and could dip again at any time. There is no sign of the economy picking up. The euro has nearly bankrupted the PIIGS nations. no one believes that the commission lead level of governance is doing a good job, trust in the corrupt ridden democratically deficient eussr, which is believed to have created the problems in the Ukraine is diminishing every day.

an european's picture

Not the Euro but the lack of federal systems & internal national inkompetent Politicians did it !
Who is responsible ? National leader of course !
Even in the UK there are a huge amount of thoses!
The Steerling only survive because to it's own corrupt not only bank business otherwise the UK has to adop the Euro as well !
The UKSSR of England is as more undemocratic to Scots citizens than ever before concerning the Independency in smelling them honey in their mouth!
Alistair Carmichael has promised more power to them to STAY and nothing else !
England already brutally killed a lot of Scots in history !
"We should bend under their knees"
They today still have that behavior !

Note Ukraine is an entire Territory !
The UKR leaded former by a russian (Putin's comrade) has left it's right cities in an anarchistic behavior !
We dont want to give more european countries to Russia !