The Affects of Public Perception on EU Legitimacy

The Affects of Public Perception on EU Legitimacy

A survey recently published by the Pew Research Centre demonstrates the lasting influence the Eurozone crisis has had on public perception of the European Union’s viability. Bearing the title “The New Sick Man of Europe: the European Union”, this report examines public sentiment toward the EU in eight countries: Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Poland and the Czech Republic. It singles out France as the country where public approval of the EU has dropped most dramatically – from 60 percent in 2012 to 41 percent in 2013.

The Pew survey also challenges some of the common misconceptions surrounding Germans’ attitude toward Brussels and the Eurozone bailouts. Amongst all the countries surveyed, Germany was the only one where over 50 percent of the public was in favour of giving more power to the EU. The report also indicated that 52 percent of the German public is in support of extending economic aid to fellow Eurozone members. This directly contradicts the claims of many German politicians, many of whom have professed widespread disenchantment amongst the German public with the idea of financial support for troubled EU economies.

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About the Author:

Sebastian Andrei is NABATAEANS’ editor for EU - Middle East Trade and Political Relations. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Vienna, where he majored in journalism with minors in political science as well as business and economics. Sebastian is responsible for reporting on the European Union’s external trade relations. He also writes about economic development and investment opportunities in Europe as well as about policy changes which affect the EU common market.

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