Survey: Majority of Western Europeans believe that ‘the EU is not working’

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The authors of the survey conducted by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) in 12 EU member states are encouraging European leaders to view the results of their research as a warning. They believe that from the point of view of the EU’s future, this may be one of the last warnings.

The Polish media outlet Rzeczpospolita daily points out that the most worrying data comes from the EU’s two largest states — Germany and France. Following the experiences from last year, 55 percent of Germans and 62 percent of French think that the EU “is not working”. 57 percent of Italians share this view, as do 52 percent of Spanish and 51 percent of Austrians.

Poles are much more understanding in this case, as the index only reached 33 percent. Forty-four percent of Poles, however, admitted that their trust of the EU was already low or had worsened in the last year.

The authors of the report noted that skepticism towards integration which was previously very marginal has now entered the mainstream, especially in Germany where trust to the EU has dropped by 11-percentage points.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents in the 12 member states believe that the EU’s greatest failure in the last year was permitting a deep recession, with 31 percent pointing to the inability to ensure efficient vaccination against the coronavirus. Other accusations, such as freezing the economy and social life, were pointed to much less (21 percent).