Eurozone summit

Laurence Janta-LipinskiAssociate Director
December 20, 2011, 1:45 PM GMT+0

Widespread support in Britain, France, Germany and Denmark for 9th December summit although pessimism still surrounds the European Union

A new YouGov poll across Britain, France, Germany and Denmark shows widespread support for the new Eurozone rules announced at the summit in Brussels earlier this month, despite pessimism over whether the measures will actually help solve the debt crisis.

All four countries surveyed show majority support for the new rules set out on the 9th of December, ranging from a high of 65% in Germany to a low of 51% in Britain. Despite this support, respondents in Britain, France and Germany believe that these measures will not help solve the debt crisis. Only in Denmark can we see more respondents believing the measures will help than believing that they won’t.

Following on from the summit, all three key players ‒ German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister David Cameron ‒ have seen drops in all four countries’ confidence levels that the leaders will take the necessary decisions to solve the crisis. Angela Merkel still commands the highest level of support: in each country her net score (confidence minus no confidence) is positive, whilst both Cameron’s and Sarkozy’s respective net confidence scores are negative in all four regions. Only in Britain does Cameron score higher for confidence than Sarkozy, whilst in Denmark, Cameron has dropped from a net score of +40 to -13, and Sarkozy from +27 to -8.

Cameron's veto

When considering Cameron’s decision to veto the treaty, an 'us and them' mentality appears. Only in Britain do respondents believe that Cameron was right to use the veto, while strongest opposition comes from Germany. However, there is much clearer consensus on the belief that the other European Union countries were right to proceed without Britain; in all four regions, more respondents said this was right than wrong.

YouGov went on to ask who respondents thought was most to blame for the lack of agreement across all 27 countries. Here, there is disagreement from Britain and France, who thought all three leaders were to blame, and Germany and Denmark, who opted for Cameron (albeit with very slim margins over all three). In each country apart from Britain, Cameron faces the most blame out of the three leaders, with Sarkozy scoring marginally worse than Cameron in Britain.

When asked if the outcome was good or bad for the European Union, Germany, France and Denmark all had more respondents believing it was neither good nor bad, whereas Britain had most respondents claiming that the outcome would be bad for the EU. In each region apart from Germany, more respondents said that it would be bad for the EU than good.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the increasingly negative rhetoric from both sides of the Channel, France was the only country to believe that Britain should leave the EU. Despite the French wanting Britain out of the EU, it appears to most respondents in all four countries that Britain will still be a member of the EU in ten years’ time. German, French and Danish respondents also believe the same to be true of the single European currency.

See the survey details and full results here