The latest Financial Times/Harris Poll suggests that in four of the five largest European countries, pluralities of adults believe life is worse since they joined the European Union (EU) - the exception is Spain. The poll also records dim views of the Euro and its impact on economies.
Substantial numbers of adults feel that the quality of their lives has become worse under the EU (UK 52%, France 50%, Italy 47%, and Germany 44%). However, more than half of Spanish adults (53%) believe that their lives have improved since Spain joined the Union.
Only in the UK is there a plurality of people who believe life would now
be better if the country left the EU. A majority in Spain and pluralities in France, Italy and Germany think that life would be worse.
Other results from the March poll include:
- Italy is the only country where a plurality does not believe that the US is the greatest threat to global stability
- Majorities or pluralities in 4 of the 5 EU countries and in the US favour synchronisation of financial and trade regulations between the two (ie between the EU and the US). In Germany a slender plurality is opposed to the idea, but in France, a 2-1 majority favours it
- A majority of adults in the UK and a plurality in Germany are opposed to an EU army, and the majority in France and Italy, and a plurality in Spain support it.
In January, the monthly poll highlighted that an overwhelming majority of citizens believe the Euro has damaged their national economies, underscoring the scepticism that surrounds Europe’s eight-year-old monetary union. More than two-thirds of the French, Italians and Spanish – and more than half the Germans polled – believe the single currency has had a ‘negative impact’, and in France, just 5% said the Euro has had a positive effect on the French economy. More than half of citizens in countries using the Euro say they prefer their former national currency, with almost two-thirds of Germans saying they preferred the Deutsche Mark.
This month’s poll was conducted online by Harris Interactive among a total of 6,772 adults (aged 16 and over) within France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, and the United States and those aged 18 and over in Italy. Harris Interactive is online at www.harrisinteractive.com