Positive image of the EU prevails ahead of the European elections

According to a new Eurobarometer survey released today, for the first time, a majority of Europeans think that their voice counts in the EU. The number of Europeans who have a positive image of the EU increases. Support for the Economic and Monetary Union remains strong and reaches a new high in the Euro area.

These are some of the key results of the latest Standard Eurobarometer survey conducted between 8 and 22 November:

1. Positive political indicators are on the rise

For the first time since the question has been asked, a majority of Europeans agree that “their voice counts in the EU” (49%, +4 percentage points since spring 2018), while 47% disagree (-2 since spring 2018), and 4% (-2) say they “don't know”.In 16 EU Member States, a majority of respondents agree that their voice counts in the European Union, with the highest scores in Denmark (73%), Sweden (71%) and Germany (70%).

43% of Europeans have a positive image of the EU (+ 3 percentage points compared to spring 2018) – the highest level since autumn 2009. More than a third of respondents have a neutral image of the EU (36%, -1 compared to spring 2018), while a fifth have a negative image (20%, -1) and 1% do not have an opinion.Since the last Standard Eurobarometer survey in spring 2018, the proportion of respondents with a positive image of the EU has increased in 17 EU Member States, most sharply in Sweden (53%, +11), Spain (43%, +10) and the United Kingdom (43%, +9).

Trust in the EU is stable at 42% and remains at its highest level since autumn 2010. Trust prevails in 17 EU Member States (15 in spring 2018), with the highest numbers in Lithuania (65%), Denmark (60%) and Sweden (59%). Trust in the EU remains higher than trust in national governments or parliaments. 42% of Europeans trust the European Union, while 35% trust their national parliament and their national government (+1 percentage point in both cases compared to spring 2018).

2. Support for EU citizenship and free movement in all EU Member States

In all 28 Member States, a majority of respondents feel that they are citizens of the EU: 71% across the EU (+1 percentage point since spring 2018), and at a national level the feeling ranges from 89% in Luxembourg to 51% in Bulgaria. A largemajority of respondents support “the free movement of EU citizens” (83%, +1 percentage point since spring 2018), and in every EU Member State more than two-thirds of respondents share this view.

3. Strong support for the euro is confirmed

20 years after the introduction of our single currency, support for the Economic and Monetary Union and for the euro remains at a record high, with three-quarters of respondents (75%, +1 percentage point) in the Euro area in favour of the EU's single currency.

A majority of EU citizens think that the situation of the European economy is “good” (49%), a slight decline since spring 2018 (-1 percentage point). 38% of respondents consider that the European economy is “bad” (+1), and 13% have no opinion.

Positive opinions on the situation of the national economy (49%, unchanged) still outweigh negative opinions (48%, +1) but with a margin of one point. The majority of respondents in 16 EU Member States (14 in spring 2018) state that the national economic situation is good. Malta (95%) and Luxembourg and the Netherlands (both 91%) are the countries with the highest percentages. In Denmark, Germany, Sweden (all 88%) and Austria (81%), more than eight in ten respondents also hold this view. The lowest proportions are observed in Greece (6%), Croatia (16%) and Spain and Bulgaria (both 18%).

4. Migration and terrorism remain Europeans' top concerns

Immigration remains the main concern at EU level, with 40% of mentions (+2 percentage points since spring 2018). It is mentioned twice as often as terrorism (20%),which remains the second most important concern despite a strong decrease (-9 since spring 2018). The state of Member States' public finances is in third position (19%, +2): it is among the top three concerns for the first time since autumn 2014, taking over concerns on the economic situation, now in fourth place (18%, unchanged) for the first time since autumn 2010. Climate change is a main concern for 16% of the respondents, registering the largest increase (+5 percentage points), reaching the fifth position.

Although unemployment is in sixth position at EU level, (13%, the lowest level for this indicator since 2010), it remains the main concern at national level (23%, -2 percentage points). This is the lowest score since 2007. Rising prices/inflation/cost of living (21%, +4) is in equal second position with immigration (21%, unchanged). It is the first time since autumn 2008 that concerns over the cost of living are among the top two national ones. In fourth place with 20% of mentions (-3), health and social security, is returning to the level observed in autumn 2017. The economic situation (15%, unchanged) and pensions (15%, -2) share the fifth position, just above the environment, climate and energy issues (14%, +4), which has reached a new high.

Background

The “Autumn 2018 Standard Eurobarometer” (EB 90) was conducted through face-to-face interviews between8 and 22 November 2018. 32,600 people were interviewed across EU Member States and in the candidate countries.

For More Information

Standard Eurobarometer 90