Eurobarometer: 55% of Bulgarians Support the EU Membership of the Country

Novinite Insider » OPINIONS | Author: Kristina Yordanova |October 18, 2017, Wednesday // 14:23
Bulgaria: Eurobarometer: 55% of Bulgarians Support the EU Membership of the Country

The share of European citizens who believe their country has benefits from EU membership is 64%, an increase of four percentage points compared to 2016.

This became clear from a Eurobarometer opinion poll on citizens' views on the European Union and the European Parliament. The survey shows that a clear majority of European citizens (57%) believe that EU membership is a good thing for their country. This level is almost returning to the 2007 figures before the financial and economic crisis. Also 47% of Europeans believe that their voice is respected in the EU, which is the best result after the European Parliament elections in 2009. The Eurobarometer survey was conducted among 27 881 citizens in the 28 Member States of the EU.

In Bulgaria, the support for the EU membership is 55%, slightly lower than the EU average, but also six percentage points higher than in 2016.

The focus of the Parlamet survey is on public attitudes towards the EU membership and its benefits, the priorities, the actions and the mission of the European Parliament, and whether the voice of the citizens is heard at European level. The survey confirms the increasingly favorable attitude of citizens towards the EU, a trend observed in the surveys since 2016.

33% of European citizens have a positive attitude towards the European Parliament, which is 8 points higher than the results in 2016.

For Bulgaria, the approval share is 49%, the increase is 11 points, and this is the second best score in the EU after Ireland. The European Parliament has a neutral image among 42% of Europeans (two percentage points lower than the previous survey) and the negative image has fallen by 7 points to 21%. For Bulgaria, the results are 30% (-4 percentage points) and 12% (-9 percentage points), respectively. More than half of respondents (55%) declare their interest in the European elections in 2019, and 47% believe that Parliament should play a larger role in the future.

European citizens expect the EU to protect them from certain threats. The main risks that Europeans want EU intervention are terrorism (58%), unemployment (43%), poverty and social exclusion (42%) and uncontrolled migration (35%).

Less than a quarter of people mention climate change (23%), religious radicalism (23%), organized crime (22%), armed conflicts (21%), political extremism (20%), the spread of infectious diseases 10%), cyber-attacks, privacy threats (9%).

The main priority areas where Bulgarians want more EU action are those in the Union: fight against terrorism (61%), poverty and social exclusion (40%) and uncontrolled migration (38%). They are followed by the problem of unemployment (33%), religious radicalism (26%), organized crime (24%), armed conflicts (23%). Slightly interfering with the EU, Bulgarians want protection against cyber-attacks (11%), the spread of infectious diseases (10%), privacy threats (8% each).

Europeans expect the Union to protect their fundamental rights (44%), the right to free movement, work and education in the EU (36%), work (34%), adequate pensions (34%) and a stable economy 33%).

In particular, they expect the EU to protect human rights (56%), freedom of speech (34%) and gender equality (32%). People expect the EP to support action against poverty and social exclusion (41%), terrorism (also 41%) and youth unemployment (31%).

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Tags: Eurobarometer, survey, EU, membership
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