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Survey: Europeans expect more effective, transparent EU

Citizens of European countries expect the European Union to be more effective and transparent, according to a survey conducted by the Szazadveg Foundation in 30 countries earlier this year.
16. December 2021 6:34

The survey conducted by phone with 30,000 respondents in the EU member states, the United Kingdom, Norway and Switzerland probed the public’s attitude on national and European identity, member state sovereignty, the responsibility and policy of EU officials and the operation of the EU.

The results published on Wednesday showed that 84 percent of respondents wanted the EU’s operation to be simpler and more transparent, up 2 percent from 2020.

The majority of respondents in 29 countries of the 30 surveyed would want to see EU leadership resigning if the bloc failed to respond swiftly to crisis situations, Szazadveg said. The average of people expecting Brussels leadership to take responsibility was 74 percent in 2021, up from 71 percent last year, the pollster said. The highest ratios on this issue were measured in Croatia (90 percent), followed by Hungary (85 percent) and Spain (84 percent).

Regarding national and European identity, Szazadveg found that three-quarters of respondents identified themselves more as a member of their own nation state rather than European. Some 20 percent of respondents put European identity first, it said. National identity was most prevalent in Finland, Hungary and Portugal (86 percent each), and less pronounced in Germany (66 percent), Poland (63 percent) and Luxembourg (57 percent).

Fully 48 percent of respondents supported member states having more power over the European Union, Szazadveg said. That ratio was 54 percent in the four member states of the Visegrad Group and 52 percent among members of the former Socialist bloc, the pollster said. The ratio of those supporting greater concentration of power in Brussels was above 50 percent only in Slovenia (56 percent) and Spain (54 percent), and at 36 percent on average in the EU and the UK, it said.

The majority of respondents in 22 countries held the opinion that their interests were not represented in Brussels, Szazadveg said. Least satisfied in that regard were Czech (63 percent) and Bulgarian (62 percent) respondents, the poll showed. In Hungary, their ratio was 52 percent, Szazadveg said.

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