Poll reveals attitudes to EU membership
Most EU residents say they see membership of the bloc as a “good thing,” according to the latest Eurobarometer survey published by its parliament on Wednesday. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they were in support of being part of the organization, marking the highest result in 15 years.
The EU parliament noted that most countries, particularly in the Baltic region, have a significantly better attitude towards EU membership compared to a similar survey conducted late last year.
The Eurobarometer survey, which was conducted between 19 April and 16 May, revealed that 65% of those questioned see EU membership as a good thing and 52% hold a positive view of the bloc as a whole, compared to 12% who responded negatively.
“With war returning to our continent, Europeans feel reassured to be part of the European Union. European citizens are deeply attached to freedom, are ready to defend our values, and are increasingly realizing that democracy can no longer be taken for granted,” added the parliament’s president, Roberta Metsola as 61% reported that they were not confident that their life would continue unchanged in light of the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Additionally, attitudes towards Russia and China have deteriorated according to the poll, with only 10% saying they supported Moscow, compared to 30% in 2018. The European Parliament’s report on the survey mentions that in a separate poll published last week by the European Commission, nearly 80% of respondents also expressed support for the EU’s economic sanctions against Moscow as well as Russian companies and individuals.
By contrast, the UK and the US have reportedly seen an improvement in their popularity amongst EU residents, with the UK getting a 65% approval rating, gaining one point from previous surveys, and the US getting 58%, a 13-point improvement.
59% also noted that they see the defense of “common European values such as freedom and democracy” as a priority even if it meant having to deal with rising prices and cost of living. Respondents also said that the fight against poverty and social exclusion was the number one political priority for the European Parliament to focus on.