ZAGREB, May 27, 2018 – The popularity of the European Union is on the rise, a survey published shows. The survey was published a year before European Parliament elections, due to take place from May 23 to 26, 2019. It will be the first European elections after the United Kingdom leaves the Union in March.
The poll, carried out by Eurobarometer, indicates that opinions have changed since Britons decided at a referendum to leave the 28-member bloc, which the pollsters described as a “wake-up call” for EU democracy.
More than two-thirds (67 percent) of the respondents said that their countries have benefited from EU membership, up from October 2016 when the Union was grappling with a migration crisis and a blow from the Brexit vote. It is the highest score since 1983.
During the economic crisis of 2010/2011, just over half of those polled had responded positively to this question.
A growing number of EU citizens believe their voice counts in the EU. In the last survey, 48 percent of respondents believed so. However, just 32 percent of those surveyed believe that things are going in the right direction for the EU. Respondents appeared inclined to new, anti-establishment parties, with 56 percent believing they can bring necessary real change.
The survey revealed that nearly half the Croatians (49 percent) have a neutral opinion on their country’s EU membership, while 36 percent consider it good. This is a decline of 7 percentage points from the survey conducted in October 2017. This year’s survey covered 1,014 people in Croatia.
Most Croatians (59 percent) believe that their voice matters in the EU, but at the same time 46 percent think that things are heading in the wrong direction for the bloc.
The Croatian respondents said that the campaign for the forthcoming European elections should focus on the fight against youth unemployment (68 percent), the economy and growth (61 percent), social protection of EU citizens (48%), consumer rights and food safety (34%).
Most Croatians see new political parties and movements as proponents of real change (72%) and new solutions (68%), and 58% believe that these parties and movements pose no threat to democracy in Croatia.
The survey showed that most EU citizens want the election campaign to focus on terrorism, youth unemployment, immigration and the economy.
The poll was conducted in April among 27,601 people from all 28 member states.