(08 February 2016) – The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) has published a report on ‘Major changes in European public opinion towards the EU since1973’.
The main findings to emerge from this review include the followings:
– Since 1973, the feeling that membership of the EU is a good thing has been shared by a clear majority of Europeans. Moreover, since 1983 and reaching a peak in 2015, a majority of respondents have felt their country has benefited from membership of the EU.
– Enlargements have often proved to be occasions on which views on the EU have improved after an initial hardening of opinion.
– Economic crises have triggered a serious worsening of opinions about the EU, especially when those crises are likely to impact directly on the lives of European citizens. This is especially true of the 2008 economic crisis, which produced significant changes in the indicators reflecting support for the European Union.
– Even though some indicators show support for the EU to have hardened during the crisis, a clear majority of Europeans still feel that there is more that unites the citizens of the Member States than divides them: this was the case each time this question was asked, in 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2015.