Two-thirds of Belgians convinced EU membership good thing

Two-thirds of Belgians convinced EU membership good thing
Belgians are more convinced of the EU's role in several issues than the European average proves to be.© Belga

Almost two-thirds of Belgians (64%) are convinced that EU membership is a good thing. This is slightly above the European average (57%). The findings emerge from a Eurobaromètre (Eurobarometer) survey by the European Parliament published last Thursday.

The results are more than four points above those achieved in the previous Eurobaromètre survey, in September 2016.

They are almost, once again, at the confidence level seen before financial crisis (58% in 2007).

The majority of European citizens consider that Europe is best placed to respond to international issues.

These include the growing instability within the Arab world, the increasing influence of Russia and China, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.

It is also the case that significant proportions of those surveyed believe that the EU should act more in the fight against terrorism (80%), unemployment (78%), environmental protection (75%) and the fight against tax fraud (74%).

Belgians show themselves on all issues to be more convinced of the EU’s role than the European average.

In particular, Belgians distinguish themselves from the rest of Europe concerning male-female equality (75% compared to 65% for the EU overall) and agriculture (67% as against 56%). Further like-for-like distinctions are made in respect of industrial policy (62% compared to 52%) and energy security (74% as against 63%).

Lastly, social inequalities in Europe concern the large majority of European citizens (84% compared to 82% of Belgians). A third of European citizens think that the economic crisis will not be resolved in the coming years.

The Eurobaromètre survey was completed face-to-face with 27,901 people in the 28 EU member states, including 1,023 in Belgium.

The Brussels Times

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