An Ipsos survey of citizens in nine European countries finds a majority of respondents (73%) think things across the EU are headed in the wrong direction, and fewer than half agree that EU membership has improved their own standard of living. Attitudes are most negative among French respondents, with only 15% saying the union is on the right track, and of all countries surveyed only Spain responded more positively to this question than in 2014.
EU citizens report feeling that the EU unfairly benefits its more developed economies (59%, up 2 percentage points), and this is higher amongst Spanish and Italian respondents. Further, a majority (63%) think that pressure from the EU to cut public spending has had a negative effect on their national economy.
However, despite these misgivings, few (17%) want to leave the EU and overall; the most commonly chosen option (29%) for the future of their country and the EU is to stay in the union but seek to reduce its powers. There’s some support for more powers being given to the EU (21%), and even for the formation of a single European government (19%).
The study of more than 7,000 people in nine countries, shows:
Large and increasing majorities in most countries saying things across the EU are going in the wrong direction.
Less than half feel that their personal standard of living has been enhanced by EU membership.
No increase in support for leaving the EU since 2014 – and in Britain the proportion who want to leave has fallen.