Greeks are the most pessimistic among their EU peers about the future of the European Union, according to the Standard Eurobarometer survey of spring 2019 published on Monday, which inquired about topics such as the European political situation, the economy and European citizenship.
Based on the poll, 51 percent of respondents in Greece said they were “pessimistic” about the region’s future versus 45 percent who were “optimistic.”
In all other member states, a majority of respondents are optimistic (up from 26 in autumn 2018), with the highest proportions of optimists seen in Ireland (85 pct), Denmark (79 pct), Lithuania (76 pct) and Poland (74 pct). At the other end of the scale, optimism is less pronounced in the United Kingdom (47 pct) and in France (50 pct).
However, compared with autumn 2018, optimism for the future of the EU has increased in 24 EU member states, in particular in Cyprus (65 pct, +12 percentage points), Hungary (68 pct, +11), Denmark (79 pct, +9), Austria (66 pct, +8) and Greece (45 pct, +8).
It has lost ground in four countries, but by no more than two percentage points: the United Kingdom (47 pct, -2), Sweden (64 pct, -2), Czechia (54 pct, -1) and Ireland (85 pct, -1).
Asked about their main concerns on a national level, most Greek respondents mentioned immigration (37 pct), followed by the economic situation (32 pct), and the state of member-states’ public finances (27 pct).
Concerning the EU’s image, the proportion of respondents with a positive view has increased in 23 member states since autumn 2018, in particular in Cyprus (47 pct, +11 percentage points), Hungary (52 pct, +9), Greece (33 pct, +8), Romania (60 pct, +8) and Portugal (60 pct, +7).
Declines have occurred in the United Kingdom (38 pct, -5), and to a lesser extent in Belgium (38 pct, -3), Sweden (50 pct, -3) and Ireland (63 pct, -1).
The poll was carried out between June 7 and July 1 this year in the 28 EU member states, five candidate countries (North Macedonia, Turkey, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania) and the Turkish Cypriot community.