Support for the single currency hits record high


Close to three-quarters of respondents are for the euro (74%, +1 percentage point since spring 2017) in the euro area, according to the first results of the autumn Standard Eurobarometer, published today in Brussels.

Support for the Euro increased in Cyprus  to 67%( +7), and a positive image for the EU is gaining ground (Cyprus 35%, +7), but at the same time Cypriots still tend not to trust the EU (by 57%).

According to the Eurobarometer, this is the highest score since spring 2004. Conversely, just over one in five respondents are against it (21%, -1). Overall in the European Union, more than six in ten Europeans are for a European economic and monetary union with one single currency, the euro (61%, +1 percentage point). After a third consecutive increase (from 55% in spring 2016 up to 61%), support for the euro has reached its highest level since spring 2009. Conversely, a third of Europeans are “against” a European economic and monetary union with one single currency, the euro (33%, -1).

Meanwhile a, a majority of respondents are for “a European economic and monetary union with one single currency, the euro” in 21 Member States (down from 22 in spring 2017), led by Slovenia (85%), Ireland and Estonia (both 84%). At least eight in ten respondents also support the euro in Spain (82%), Germany (81%), Belgium (81%) and Slovakia (80%). Support, though still predominant, is less widespread in Romania and Hungary (both 57%) and Italy (59%). In seven countries, all located outside the euro area, a majority of respondents say they are against the euro: the Czech Republic (73% “against”), Sweden (71%), Denmark (63%), the United Kingdom (62%), Poland (57%), Croatia (52%) and Bulgaria (50%).

Since spring 2017, support for the euro has increased in 16 Member States, and in particular in the United Kingdom (30%, +7 percentage points), Cyprus (67%, +7) and Spain (82%, +7). It has decreased in eight countries, most strikingly in Luxembourg (77%, -8) and Croatia (43%, -8), and remains unchanged in four. As a consequence, in Croatia a majority of the population are now against the euro whereas the contrary was true in spring 2017.

Seven in ten Europeans feel that they are citizens of the EU (70%, +2 percentage points since spring 2017). This is the first time since spring 2010 that this indicator has reached the 70% threshold. As in spring 2017, a majority of respondents feel they are citizens of the EU in 27 Member States, with the highest scores in Luxembourg (90%), Spain (88%) and Malta (85%). Scores are also over 80% in Germany (82%), Portugal, Finland and Ireland (81% in all three countries).

Though this opinion is still held by a majority, this feeling is less widespread in Italy (54%), the United Kingdom (55%), the Czech Republic (56%) and Bulgaria (56%). As in spring 2017, Greece is the only country where a majority of respondents feel that they are not citizens of the EU (52% “no”, vs. 48% “yes”). Since spring 2017, the feeling of EU citizenship has increased in 14 Member States, and most spectacularly in Spain (88%, +13 percentage points). It remains unchanged in six countries, and has decreased in eight, but by no more than three percentage points.

According to the Eurobarometer, a majority of respondents have a positive image of the EU in 14 countries (down from 15 in spring 2017), led by Ireland (59%), Bulgaria and Luxembourg (both 57%). As in spring 2017, equal proportions of the population see the EU in a positive and a neutral light in Malta (45% total ‘positive’ and 45% “neutral”). This is also the case in Lithuania (46% total ‘positive’ and 46% “neutral”) and the Netherlands (39% total ‘positive’ and 39% “neutral”). In ten Member States (unchanged since spring 2017), a majority of the population have primarily a neutral image of the EU, with the highest scores in Latvia (52%), Croatia (50%) and Estonia (49%).

Greece remains the only country where a majority of respondents have a predominantly negative image of the EU (43%). The proportion of respondents with a positive image of the EU has gained ground in 12 EU countries since spring 2017, most strikingly in Hungary (43%, +7 percentage points) and Cyprus (35%, +7).

Conversely, it has decreased in 11 countries, in particular in Lithuania (46%, -5) and Croatia (31%, -5), and remains unchanged in five Member States (Luxembourg, Poland, Germany, Malta and Estonia).

A majority of the population is optimistic for the future of the European Union in all but two Member States (up from 24 in spring 2017); Greece (60% “pessimistic” vs. 37% “optimistic”) and the United Kingdom (48% vs. 44%) are the only exceptions. Optimism for the future of the EU is most pronounced in Ireland (80%), Luxembourg (72%) and Malta (70%). At the other end of the scale, optimism is less widespread in France (49%) and Italy (50%).

Compared with spring 2017, optimism for the future of the EU has gained ground in 18 Member States, most strikingly in Cyprus (53%, +10 percentage points), Hungary (58%, +9) and Greece (37%, +8). Conversely, it has decreased in ten countries, and in particular in France (49%, -6, following a +14 between autumn 2016 and spring 2017) and in Croatia (56%, -5).

The number of Member States where a majority of respondents trust the EU has increased (18, up from 15 in spring 2017) despite the slight decrease in trust at EU level since spring 2017. Trust in the EU is highest in Lithuania (64%), Bulgaria (57%) and Luxembourg (56%).

Conversely, a majority of respondents tend not to trust the EU in ten countries, most strikingly in Greece (74%), the United Kingdom (59%) as well as France, the Czech Republic and Cyprus (all 56%).

Since spring 2017, trust in the EU has gained ground in ten countries, most strikingly in Belgium (53%, +7 percentage points), Slovakia (48%, +5) and the Czech Republic (35%, +5). Conversely, it has lost ground in 17 Member States, led by France (33%, -8, following a 15-point increase between autumn 2016 and spring 2017) and Croatia (39%, -8), and remains unchanged in Germany (47%). Because of these evolutions, trust is now the majority opinion in Belgium, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland. Conversely, in Croatia, a majority of the population now distrust the European Union while the opposite was true in spring 2017.

As in spring 2017, 40% of Europeans have a positive image of the EU; 37% have a neutral image, while the proportion of Europeans who have a negative image of the EU also remains unchanged at 21%.

Source:Stockwatch

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