Confidence in the EU’s ability to handle crises has taken a hit from COVID-19, a major survey shows, but discontent with national political systems is even greater and most people still support EU membership and Want a stronger, more cooperative block.
The report’s authors suggested that the vote should be a wake-up call for Brussels, warning that while public support for the broader European project remained high in many countries, it was fragile and would not easily escape further disappointment.
Europeans were “differentiating between the need for cooperation and solidarity at the European level, and their faith in the EU to be delivered”, he said, and were unhappy that the bloc had “missed its opportunity to prove its worth”. .
Voting also suggested brexie Europeans’ views of Britain had changed, with the current view of Britain – such as the US – as an “essential partner” to “cooperate strategically” rather than an ally, and one of the four Germans. and was seen as one in five French. Spanish respondents perceived it as a rival or adversary.
Report published by European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) on Wednesday, suggested the bloc’s poor initial response to the pandemic and slow initial vaccine rollout Confidence in his abilities had suffered a severe blow.
In half of the states surveyed, the majority of respondents had little or no confidence in the European Union, France (62%), Italy (57%), Germany (55%), Spain (52%). and with a majority in Austria (51%) saying the EU project was “broken”.
However, disenchantment with national politics was even greater, with 80% of respondents in Italy and Spain, 66% in France, 60% in Portugal, 55% in Poland and 54% in Hungary saying that their own domestic political system was “broken”. ” was.
Furthermore, bar one of all states, most respondents still felt EU membership was “a good thing” for their country (the exception was France, where the largest number of respondents said membership was “neither good”. was neither bad”.)
The survey revealed a widespread sentiment that the 27 members should cooperate more, with a majority in all 12 countries surveyed except France and Germany – where there were significant minorities of 47% and 45% respectively – saying that the coronavirus The pandemic showed the need for more cooperation.
And despite their frustrations, respondents in eight of the 12 countries still saw the EU as the key to their country’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
In each country surveyed, a majority of respondents – led by Portugal at 91%, Spain at 80%, Italy at 77% and Poland with 68% – said they want the EU to be more vulnerable to future global crises. Adopt an integrated response. and challenges.
A plurality also said they would like to see the EU playing a more vocal role on the world stage, for example by supporting human rights and the rule of law when they are violated in countries such as Turkey and China, while Democratic values and governance are given priority. of law within the block.
The report’s authors, ECFR Senior Policy Fellows Susie Denison and Jana Puglierin, said there remains a broad public consensus for more European cooperation and cooperation on key international challenges, but it was fragile.
The authors wrote, “The fact is that the two largest and most influential states in the EU – France and Germany – are the least convinced of the need for European cooperation with which the EU needs to step up its game.” “
“Important national elections are due next year in both countries, which could present a challenge for EU leaders. Our voting data indicates that the EU has used its second chances.”
He said EU leaders had the opportunity to “restart the agreed consensus for the European project” at this summer’s G7, NATO and EU-US summits, but “institutional over-reach or over-reach”. Promises” should be avoided.
Instead, he said, they should focus on “playing a role where they can actually enhance the efforts of national governments, and in which the European public wants to see them involved”, such as human rights, the rule of law and democratic values. .
He said it would be important to recover after the pandemic. “The commission cannot afford to make the same mistakes as it orchestrates the economic revival of the bloc,” Denison said. “The Recovery Fund could be the EU’s next success story, by introducing green, inclusive growth.”
Puglierin said the data showed that Europeans wanted “decisive leadership that prioritizes multilateralism, and that advocates and defends their values and interests on the global stage. Listening to senior EU figures and Will do well to act accordingly. He may not get a second chance.”
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