The Eurobarometer, a survey of public opinion throughout the EU, has revealed a marked increase in public support for EU membership.
The Eurobarometer survey, conducted between September 8 and September 26 across 27,474 adult EU citizens in all 28 Member States, showed 62 per cent of those polled considered their respective countries’ membership of the EU to be a good thing. 68 per cent believed their country had benefited from membership of the EU, the highest rate for this response since 1983.
In the event of a UK-style referendum, 66 per cent of respondents across the EU – a majority in every Member State – said they would vote for their country to remain in the EU. According to Eurobarometer statistics approval for the EU on the part of citizens has experienced an overall steady rise since the British referendum in May 2016, as negotiations stagnate and the potential negative outcomes of Brexit become more apparent to EU residents.
The proportion of Europeans who said they were satisfied with the democratic functioning of the EU rose by three points since the previous Eurobarometer in April 2018, to 49 per cent. 48 per cent felt their voice was heard in the EU, although this represented a minor decline since April in some countries.
Public awareness of the European elections in May 2019 has risen, with 41 per cent of respondents correctly identifying the date: nine points higher than when the same question was asked in the April Eurobarometer. 51 per cent of those surveyed described themselves as interested in the elections, with campaign priorities of immigration, economy, youth unemployment and terrorism.
Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, said: “As details of the UK’s withdrawal agreement are being finalised, these figures highlight growing appreciation of the benefits of EU membership across the continent. Nevertheless, there is much work to be done. Continued cooperation and solidarity at the EU level [are] essential in delivering answers to the concerns of ordinary European citizens.”
The Eurobarometer, which was established in 1974, is conducted twice yearly with the aim of gauging EU citizens’ awareness of and support for EU activities.