Majority of polled countries pessimistic about EU; Danes overtake Germans as favouring EU most
The latest results from YouGov’s new EuroTrack study, following on from last month's cross country poll, reveals that a drop in German support has coincided with a rise in Danish support, leaving Denmark now as the country who most favours remaining in the EU, while Britons remain in favour of a looser relationship, if any.
The new poll, which also included Finland and France, revealed that most Finnish are optimistic about the future of the European Union, though almost half feel they have no influence over European Affairs. Many French respondents feel France is influential when it comes to European affairs, yet they remain pessimistic about the future of the EU.
- 59% of Danes who would vote for Denmark to remain a member of the EU in the event of a referendum, followed by Germans with 57%
- Over 2 in 5 Swedes would also vote to remain a part of the EU (46%)
- Most Britons continue to prefer a looser relationship with the EU with only a third (32%) would vote for Britain to remain a member, while around half (48%) would vote to leave
The Danish are also the most optimistic about the future of the EU, however all nations remain mostly pessimistic.
- Finland are the second most optimistic nation about the future of the EU with 38% in total, next to 42% of Danes and only 26% of Britons
- Unsurprisingly Britons are also the most pessimistic about the future of the EU with 60% claiming to be so, next to 59% of the French, along with over half of all German, Swedish and Finnish respondents who are also pessimistic
- The least pessimistic nation towards the EU is Denmark with 44%
A significant number of French and German respondents feel their country has an influence over European affairs, while Swedes and Britons feel they have less effect.
- A significantly higher portion of Germans feel that their country is influential with 59% saying they their country is influential in European affairs, followed by the French with 46% saying the same
- Around a quarter (26%) of Britons think they have influence over affairs in the Eurozone
- Only 1 in 5 (20%) of Swedish respondents feel Sweden is influential in European affairs, and 48% of the Finnish disagree that their country has any influence
Last month's results came in response to the drawing up of the EU fiscal treaty, which critics claim was a political gesture to placate prosperous countries such as Germany where there is reluctance to pay for further Eurozone bailouts. New results suggest however that Germans, while enthusiastic, are not the only country who still sees positives in the EU, as well as being similarly pessimistic as other polled countries about its future.
At the recent conference hosted by YouGov-Cambridge, former Chancellor Alistair Darling said the treaty was "absolutely mad" because it didn’t deal with the structural problems underlying the crisis, predicting it wouldn't be liked any more by the French or German than it is by the British. The conference, held in London and entitled "Public Opinion, Economic Governance and the future of Europe," saw many points raised in regards to the state of affairs in Europe and the future of the EU.
Economics vs. politics
While speaking at the conference, author Louise Cooper stated that when considering the Euro, she perceives is a battle between economics versus politics.
"The Euro wasn’t created correctly to last. However the political desire for it to continue is immense" she said. "To me, it’s more like the tectonic plates; economics will rip this apart; it has not been structured properly … and if fiscal union’s so easy to create, it would have been created in the last eleven years, and it hasn’t been."
Despite his scrutiny for the EU, Alistair Darling said it was of great importance that the UK remains a part of the European Union, submitting that while the British public were never going to ‘”love” Europe, if Europe could renew its focus on promoting the pro-trade, pro-enterprise, pro-competition aspects of the trading bloc (as stipulated by the Lisbon Treaty) then people “could and should be able to value it”.