How do Croats feel about the EU after two years of membership?
After two years of EU membership, Croatian citizens are better disposed towards the EU than they were prior to accession. That can be seen by comparing the results of the last week’s Eurobarometer survey with the results of the same survey carried out on the eve of Croatian accession in 2013, according to a report in Novi List on August 6, 2015.
According to the Eurobarometer, 47 percent of respondents in Croatia have a positive view of the EU, compared to 40 percent two years ago. At the same time, the number of those who have a negative view has decreased from 22 to 12 percent.
Two years ago, 59 percent of respondents in Croatia were optimistic about the future of the European Union. Today, there are even more optimists, almost three-quarters of respondents, while pessimists comprise only 24 percent of respondents.
European Parliament now has the confidence of 53 percent of respondents, compared to 48 percent two years ago, while the European Commission has the confidence of 49 percent of the people, which is four percentage points more than two years ago.
However, the public opinion poll was conducted in May, before the current dispute about Croatian and Slovenian arbitration proceedings in which the Commission, in a way, supported Slovenia.
Eurobarometer shows that more and more people in Croatia feel as citizens of the European Union. That number has increased from 55 percent to 63 percent. As far as the benefits of the membership are concerned, Croatian citizens mostly mention freedom of travel, study and work anywhere in the EU.
In Croatia, as in most other member states, 99 percent of people can recognize the European flag. Almost two-thirds of respondents believe that the flag should stand beside the national flag on all public buildings (64 percent agree, 29 percent against). That is a high percentage, especially when compared with some older member states: in Denmark only 15 percent of people share that view, in Finland 20 percent, in Great Britain and Sweden about 30 percent, and in the Netherlands 36 percent. And in three newer members, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Latvia, hoisting the European flag on public buildings has the support of less than half of respondents.