Public support for EU project hits a high


Some 66% of Europeans – and 69% of Poles – want a Constitution to be adopted, according to a Eurobarometer survey, published hours before a decisive Brussels summit. However, British citizens remain highly critical of the EU.

With the threat of a Polish veto still hanging over the Summit opening today (21 June) in Brussels, new polls show that more than two thirds (69%) of the Polish population supports the “concept” of an EU Constitution.

The concept is also backed by 78% of Germans, while Belgians show the most enthusiam, with 82% saying that they support a Constitution. The Eurobarometer poll was conducted by TNS Opinion on behalf of the Commission and based on interviews with more than 29,000 people in 30 European countries.

However, the poll found that only 55% of Czechs and a mere 43% of UK citizens are favourable to an EU Constitution. And a YouGov poll in the UK found that 72% of the British would want to have a say over EU reforms, even though Prime Minister Tony Blair has sought to avoid a referendum on the matter.

Nevertheless, the survey finds that “there are no countries where those against a Constitution outnumber those in the ‘Yes’ camp”.

General support for the Union has risen to 57%, bringing it to a record high since 1994, the Commission notes. The most recent Eurobarometer poll finds that more than half of citizens think that EU membership is “a good thing”.

Commission Vice-President and Communication Commissioner Margot Wallström said: “The new Eurobarometer shows more optimism in the EU as regards its future and the tasks that people expect the EU to perform. I hope the coming European Council will translate this optimism into an agreement on the reform.”

According to the poll, citizens expect more action from the EU in the areas of environmental protection, energy, defence and the fight against terrorism. 81% of citizens are in favour of EU action to fight terrorism, 69% would like the EU to oversee environmental protection, and 62% want defence and foreign affairs to be dealt with at Union level.

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