Bulgarians Show Lowest Support for EU Membership

World » EU | April 17, 2024, Wednesday // 12:13
Bulgaria: Bulgarians Show Lowest Support for EU Membership Photo: Stella Ivanova

Bulgaria finds itself at the bottom of the list in terms of citizens who believe in the benefits of EU membership, according to the latest Eurobarometer survey results. The survey, conducted across all 27 EU member states, reveals a concerning trend as Bulgaria marks a significant decline in voter turnout projections for the upcoming European elections.

With only 50% of respondents expressing probable voting intentions for the Euro vote, Bulgaria sees a notable 7-percentage-point drop compared to 2019 figures. This decline is attributed to election fatigue in the country, exacerbated by the upcoming sixth parliamentary elections within three years aligning with the European elections.

Furthermore, Bulgaria ranks last in the EU regarding the percentage of people likely to vote in the European elections. While the overall EU average stands at 71%, Bulgaria lags behind at 50%, signaling a significant disengagement from the electoral process.

Despite an increase in interest in voting compared to previous years, with 60% of Bulgarians expressing interest in the June elections, the country still falls short of the EU average. The survey indicates a growing awareness among EU citizens of the importance of the upcoming elections, with 81% agreeing on the heightened significance in the current geopolitical context.

Moreover, the survey sheds light on citizens' perceptions of the European Parliament (EP), with 77% of Bulgarians holding a positive or neutral view. However, Bulgaria shares the last place in the EU concerning the desire for the EP to play a more important role, with only 41% of respondents supporting such a notion.

When it comes to priorities for the election campaign, EU citizens prioritize tackling poverty, supporting public health, and boosting the economy and job creation. Bulgaria's priorities align closely with the EU average, underscoring the common concerns across member states.

Looking ahead, Bulgarians prioritize energy issues, competitiveness, and defense and security in strengthening the EU's global position. While a significant portion of EU citizens believe the EU's role has become more important, Bulgaria remains divided on this matter, reflecting broader sentiments within the country.

Despite the acknowledgment of EU actions impacting daily lives for 64% of Bulgarians, only 52% believe EU membership is beneficial for the country, ranking Bulgaria lowest among member states. This sentiment underscores the need for deeper engagement and dialogue to address concerns and foster greater support for EU membership.

In summary, the Eurobarometer survey paints a complex picture of Bulgarian sentiment towards the EU, highlighting both areas of alignment and divergence with the broader European context.

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Tags: Bulgaria, survey, EU, vote

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