EU ‘recommends’ EU according to EP survey


More than half of Europeans still believe being part of the European Union is good for their country, according to a survey commissioned by the European Parliament.

The parliament said on Friday that the favorable response of 53 percent of respondents was comparable with recent years, despite negative developments in 2016 that included the British vote to leave the EU. In Britain itself, only 47 percent of those surveyed thought being an EU member was a good thing, closely reflecting the “remain” vote in the June referendum.

The response varied widely from country to country. In Ireland, 74 per cent embraced EU membership, compared with only 31 percent in Greece.

The 2016 European Parliament survey was conducted throughout the 28-member EU between September 24 and October 3.

As in 2015, 60 percent of respondents believed their country derived benefits from membership and 71 percent of respondents agreed there were more issues uniting Europeans than dividing them.

But the survey nevertheless found Europeans their voices counted for less, particularly at national level. Only 53 percent said their voice is heard in their own country, 10 percent down on 2015.

A majority also had a negative view of the future, with percent agreeing “things are going in the wrong direction” both in the EU and in their own country.