EU Internal Policy

DAMNING VERDICT ON BRUSSELS: Two-thirds of Europeans say they have NOT benefitted from EU

EUROPEAN voters today delivered their damning verdict on the EU project with two-thirds saying they haven’t benefitted from being part of the club and more than half believing life has actually got worse whilst inside it.

Jean-Claude JunckerGETTY               The EU faces an uphill struggle to restore its popularity

An excoriating set of polling data lifts the lid on massive public dissatisfaction with Brussels across the continent and demonstrates the monumental task the bloc faces to save itself from oblivion.The divide between how the haves and the have-nots view the Union is utterly cavernous, with just a third of ordinary working people saying it is a good thing compared to nearly three quarters of the political and economic elite.

Eurocrats have been growing more and more confident that they have weathered the populist storm in recent months following election routs of Marine Le Pen in France and Geert Wilders in the Netherlands.

But a damning survey by the respected Chatham House think tank, carried out across 10 EU countries, paints a starkly different picture of how ordinary Europeans see the project.It shows that, whilst other EU countries may not yet be ready to follow the UK out of the exit door, many of their citizens feel exactly the same anger and frustration towards Brussels as their British counterparts.Just 34 per cent of ordinary people asked by researchers said they had “benefitted” from the EU – a shockingly low number which should be cause for serious concern for eurocrats.
In contrast 71 per cent of what pollsters called the “elite” – establishment figures such as politicians, economists and journalists – thought the European project had been good for them.But perhaps most damningly of all for eurocrats an astonishing 54 per cent of respondents across 10 countries feel that their homeland was a better place to live 20 years ago than now.That figure includes more than half of Hungarians – whose country wasn’t even in the project two decades ago – and an astonishing 74 per cent of Italians who have suffered years of punishing austerity.Only in Spain, Britain and Poland do more than half of people believe life is better now than it was in 1997 – and even in those three countries the majority is slim.
The extensive survey also shows how eurocrats’ attempts to foster a “European identity” through EU citizenship programmes has utterly failed, with most people still identifying by their country of birth.In all but one of the countries people said they were significantly more proud of their national identity than their “European” one despite decades of effort on the part of some euro elites to break down the former.The only silver lining for Brussels is that there is a “reservoir of support” amongst the European public for a project boosting cooperation and friendly relations between the continent’s countries.But it is clear from the data that the disconnect between the form eurocrats think this should take, through ever-closer political union, and what ordinary people want is cavernous.The Chatham House report notes: “The data reveal a continent split along three lines. First, there is a divide between elites and the public.

“There is alignment between the two groups in their attitudes to, among other things, EU solidarity, EU democracy and a sense of European identity.”

But they warn: “However, the data also show an important divide in general attitudes, beliefs and life experiences.

“The elite are more likely to experience the benefits of EU integration and are more liberal and optimistic.“Meanwhile, there is simmering discontent within the public, large sections of whom view the EU in negative terms, want to see it return some powers to member states, and feel anxious over the effects of immigration.”Researchers interviewed 10,000 members of the general European public in Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Austria, the UK, Hungary and Poland between December 2016 and February 2017.Europe has faced a growing popularity crisis in recent years with a decade of economic stagnation, coupled with punishing German-led austerity, and the ongoing migration crisis driving many voters into the arms of far-right parties.

Leave a Reply

Help put the World to rights and leave a Comment

Notify of
Jane Davies
Jane Davies

No surprise here in these statistics……Austerity, a concept dreamed up by the elite to make the wealthy wealthier and the poor poorer, result…. greater control……. all part of the plan set out in Agenda 21. They certainly didn’t allow for the revolt of the masses which will eventually topple this house of cards called the EU. How dare the plebs protest at this decades old plan, they really should know their place and put up and shut up.


Time Hammond was put out to grass.

Powered by: Wordpress
%d bloggers like this: