A recently released Eurobarometer survey confirms a high level of support for EU membership in the candidate countries, trust in the EU, despite low levels of self-perceived knowledge, and strong support for the euro and an EU Constitution.
The main findings of the latest Eurobarometer poll conducted in the 13 candidate countries between 2 September and 16 October 2002 are the following:
- 61 per cent of all respondents regard their country’s EU membership as a “good thing”. Although overall support for accession has not risen considerably, opposition has fallen, especially in the countries scheduled to accede in 2004, by a striking 20 percentage points within one year;
- Six out of 10 people in the candidate countries express trust in the EU, despite the fact that 70 per cent of the people interviewed feel “not well informed” or “not informed at all” about their own country’s accession process;
- 69 per cent of all respondents would vote in favour of their country’s EU accession in a referendum, which shows a slight increase from a year ago. Although in each of the candidate countries those who would vote in favour of membership outnumber those against, only about a quarter of the respondents belonging to the 2004 accession group say that they actually intend to vote in the upcoming referendum;
- The respondents expressed clear support for both the euro and for an EU Constitution: 59 per cent of the respondents would favour a changeover to the euro; and two-thirds are in favour of a European Constitution.