Irish most enthusiastic about European Union’s future

Support for euro is joint second highest along with Slovakia and behind Luxembourg

Irish respondents were found to have the most positive image of the EU, followed by Poland and Romania

Irish respondents were found to have the most positive image of the EU, followed by Poland and Romania

 

Irish people are more optimistic about the European Union’s future than citizens from other member states, according to new figures.

The Eurobarometer survey, which interviewed just over 1,000 Irish citizens in early November, shows that 77 per cent of locals have confidence in the EU, compared to an average of just 50 per cent.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Greece came in bottom place in the study with just 30 per cent of Greeks expressing optimism about the EU’s future.

The research shows increased optimism from Irish people about the state of the local economy as well.

According to the figures, 69 per cent of those surveyed said that things are going in the right direction in Ireland, up 14 percentage points since spring, and considerably higher than the EU average of 29 per cent.

More than 60 per cent of Irish people say that the current situation of the Irish economy is “good”, up 11 percentage points since the May Eurobarometer survey.

Future direction

As well as being sure that the EU has a future, Irish people were the most positive among the European Union’s citizens about its direction. Almost half of those surveyed expressed confidence in the future direction of the EU, versus an EU average of 23 per cent.

Irish respondents were found to have the most positive image of the EU, followed by Poland and Romania.

The top three EU concerns for Irish citizens were found to be immigration, terrorism and the state of the public finances. However, some 81 per cent of respondents also said they felt positve about immigration into Ireland.

At a local level, housing was the top national issue, followed by health, social security and unemployment.

Support for the euro is joint second highest in Ireland and Slovakia at 85 per cent after Luxembourg.

In addition, Irish and Polish respondents were the joint sixth highest to feel they are citizens of the EU after Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Finland.