Europeans split on economic and social consequences of enlargement

Eurobarometer polls show different attitudes towards enlargement and reveal lack of knowledge.

The polls state, that 42% are opposed and 45% in favour of further enlargement. The statistics indicate that overall Europeans recognise the political benefits of EU enlargement. On the issue of economic and social consequences, most members of candidate countries believe that enlargement contributes to the prosperity of the whole Union. Meanwhile, the majority of German, Luxembourgish and French interviewees have doubts about this. The study showed that in this respect, EU citizens worry most about employment. They fear of jobs being transferred to low labour cost countries.

As to future enlargement, a majority of EU citizens seem to be in favour of most of the Western Balkan countries’ accession, support ranging from 47% to 56% for one of these countries joining. Meanwhile Albania and Turkey are the least supported candidates, with 44% of Europeans polled being against Albania and 48% opposing Turkey).

Overall, the polls reveal a lack of information on enlargement. More than two thirds (68%) of the EU population feel they are not well informed about this issue.

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