Optimism about the future of the EU on the rise

It reached its highest level since 2009, trust at its highest since 2008

Attitudes towards the EU remain positive and broadly stable, according to the latest Standard Eurobarometer conducted in June-July, the EU press service reported. While optimism about the future of the EU reached its highest level since 2009, trust in the EU remains at its highest since 2008, and support for the euro remains stable at its highest since 2004.

As a whole, optimism about the future of the EU has increased sharply since summer 2020, with two-thirds of respondents now holding a positive view (66%, +6 percentage points). This is the highest level since autumn 2009. Just over three in ten respondents are pessimistic about the EU's future (31%, -7) - the lowest level since 2009.

A clear majority is optimistic about the future of the EU in 26 Member States, while public opinion remains split in Greece. Optimism has increased in 22 countries since summer 2020, with very large increases in Malta (75%, +25), Italy (67%, +18) and Portugal (76%, +15). As a result of these changes, optimism is now the majority opinion in Italy (67%) and France (53%).

After a large increase between summer 2020 and winter 2020-2021, the positive image of the EU remains at a relatively high level (45%) and is the majority opinion in 20 EU Member States (neutral image 38%, negative image 16%). The highest results are observed in Ireland (70%) and Portugal (62%).

Almost half of all Europeans trust the EU (49%). This remains the highest overall level registered since spring 2008. Trust in national governments has increased slightly (37%) while trust in national parliaments has remained stable at 35%.

The survey also indicates a significant improvement in the perception of the state of national economies. European citizens identify the economic situation as their top concern at EU level, followed by the environment and climate change and by immigration. Health is still the main issue at national level, slightly ahead of the economic situation of the country.

The economic situation has regained first place as the most important issue facing the EU with 27% of mentions (-8 percentage points compared with winter 2020-2021). The environment and climate change has risen from fourth place to equal second place (25%, +5), shared with immigration (25%, +7), followed in equal fourth place by the state of Member States' public finances and by health (both 22%).

Mentions of health have declined significantly since winter 2020-2021 (22%, -16), when it was in first position. At national level, health remains the most important issue, although mentions have declined considerably since winter 2020-2021 (28%, -16). The economic situation is in second place, mentioned by just over one quarter of respondents (26%, -7).

The majority of Europeans are satisfied with the measures taken by the EU and by national governments against the coronavirus pandemic and think that the “NextGenerationEU” recovery plan will be effective in responding to the economic effects of the pandemic. Nearly two-thirds trust the EU to make the right decisions in the future to respond to the pandemic.

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