The majority of Europeans (56%) are optimistic as to the future of EU, or an increase of six percentage points, compared to autumn 2016. This emerges from a Eurobarometer report, published on Wednesday by the European Commission.
The most significant increases were seen in France (55%, up 14 points since last autumn), Denmark (70%, up 13 points) and Portugal (64%, up 10 points). In Belgium, 63% (an increase of 7 points) of those surveyed say they are “optimistic” as to the future of the Union.
Trust within the EU is also increasing, with a view to reaching 42%, compared to 36% in autumn 2016 and 32% in autumn 2015. This has particularly increased in France (41%, up 15 points), Denmark (56%, up 11 points) and in Estonia (55%, up 11 points). That said, trust in the Union declined by two points in Belgium to reach 46%.
Terrorism is now top of the issues quoted by EU citizens as amongst the challenges which the EU must currently face (44%, up 12 percentage points since autumn 2016). Immigration, which has been the main concern since spring 2015, is henceforth the second most frequently cited challenge (38%, down 7 points).
These concerns are way ahead of those linked to the economic situation (18%, -2 points), the state of the public finances of member states (17%, unchanged) and unemployment (15%, down 1 point).
The spring 2017 Eurobarometer survey was compiled by face-to-face interviews conducted between 20th and 30th May. In this period a total of 33,180 people were interviewed across the EU member states and in the accession countries.