Dave Keating, EUObserver 13.01.2014
Approval of the European Union's leadership in countries of Southern Europe which have received EU bailouts have fallen to record lows, according to a survey released by polling organization Gallup. More than half of respondants said they do not approve of the EU's leadership in all but four EU member states – all in Northern Europe.
Only 19% of Greeks surveyed said they approve of EU leadership. Approval ratings were also very low in Cyprus (21%), Spain (27%) and Portugal (31%). Approval ratings were highest in Germany (59%), Belgium (56%), Denmark (50%) and Luxembourg (67%).
Traditionally eurosceptic countries also saw low approval rates, though these were relatively unchanged from previous years. Just 29% of British citizens polled said they approve of EU leadership, with 30% of both Czechs and Swedes expressing a positive opinion.
Bucking the overall trend, approval of EU leadership by Italians has risen by 9% since Gallup began conducting the annual survey in 2008, rising to 43% in 2013.
The survey, published on 8 January, found that young citizens are the most likely to have a positive opinion of EU leadership. But even this group has seen approval ratings fall.
The survey resondants were asked whether they approve or dosaprove of the job perdoemanxce of the "leadership of the European Union", which could be understood to mean both the EU institutions and the member state leaders of the European Council.
The survey was conducted through telephone and face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 people aged 15 and older in each member state between April and July. The margin of sampling error rangess from ±3.5 percentage points to a high of ±5.3 percentage points, according to Gallup.
EU leadership approval at record low