• Germany edition
 
Germans cling to Europe as others sour on EU
Photo: DPA

Germans cling to Europe as others sour on EU

Published: 14 May 2013 11:00 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 May 2013 11:00 GMT+02:00

Three-quarters (75 percent) of the German population thinks their national economy is doing well, compared to nine percent in the rest of Europe, the new study, released Tuesday by Washington-based Pew Research Center found.

In fact, Germans feel more positive about almost everything than other Europeans: the economy, their personal finances, the European Union, European economic integration, and their own leadership, the study discovered.

"The contrast between German sentiment today and that of other Europeans could not be more stark," was the verdict of Bruce Stokes, Pew's director of global economic attitudes, writing in Der Spiegel magazine.

This so-called "German exceptionalism" is a cause for concern, said Stokes, not least because it has reinforced Europeans' favourite cultural stereotypes. Six out of eight of the nations see Germans as the least compassionate people in Europe, and five out of eight see them as the most arrogant.

These attitudes, coupled with Germany's economic power, pose a threat to the European project, Stokes argued.

Enthusiasm for the EU has dropped starkly across Europe in the past year, the study found. Only in Germany does a majority still support handing power to Brussels. "The European Union is the new sick man of Europe," the study said.

"Over the last two generations one goal of the European project has been to narrow the differences between Germany and the rest of Europe," Stokes wrote. "But recent economic difficulties have only amplified those dissimilarities."

Developments in France are seen as particularly alarming, where as many as 91 percent of people think the economy is in bad shape - ten percent more than last year.

"The French and the Germans differ so greatly over the challenges facing their economies that they look as if they live on different continents, not within a single European market," the study concluded.

The researchers interviewed 8,000 people in March across the EU for the survey.

The Local/bk

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Police suspect neo-Nazis of Reichstag attack
An investigator gives a sniffer dog the scent of an object found at the scene. Photo: DPA

Police suspect neo-Nazis of Reichstag attack

Investigators believe a Molotov cocktail thrown at the Reichstag building in Berlin early on Monday morning was the work of a far-right group, a police spokeswoman said on Tuesday. READ  

Unemployment rate stagnates in September
Photo: DPA

Unemployment rate stagnates in September

Unemployment in Germany stagnated in September, as clouds continue to build over Europe's biggest economy, official data showed on Tuesday. READ  

Germany struggles with Turkey Nato mission
A Bundeswehr Patriot missile in southern Turkey. Photo: DPA

Germany struggles with Turkey Nato mission

A shortage of trained troops caused more embarrassment for Germany's military on Tuesday when it emerged that more than one in four soldiers taking part in a Nato mission in Turkey are not getting their allotted time off between deployments. READ  

Spielberg to shoot spy thriller in Berlin
Spielberg (l), Amy Ryan (c) and Tom Hanks (r). Photo: DPA

Spielberg to shoot spy thriller in Berlin

Director Steven Spielberg is to shoot his next film in Germany, the Berlin-Brandenburg Film Board announced on Monday. The Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan director is turning his attention to a Cold War spy thriller. READ  

Lufthansa pilots start Frankfurt strike
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa pilots start Frankfurt strike

The fourth pilots’ strike in recent weeks hit Germany’s biggest airport on Tuesday morning, with long-haul Lufthansa flights grounded at Frankfurt. READ  

EU may drop Russian gas, Merkel warns
Chancellor Merkel with Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb in Berlin on Monday. Photo: DPA

EU may drop Russian gas, Merkel warns

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that Germany and Europe may have to review their energy cooperation with Russia in the long-term if the Ukraine standoff does not abate. READ  

3,000 refugees arrive at Munich station
Munich's Hauptbahnhof. Photo: DPA

3,000 refugees arrive at Munich station

More than 3,000 refugees, including hundreds of children, have arrived at Munich’s central train station over the past few weeks, according to police. READ  

Deutsche Bahn freezes most ticket prices
Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bahn freezes most ticket prices

Germany’s train operator Deutsche Bahn on Monday attempted to take the fight to cheap coach services, which have eaten into its market share, by freezing the price of second class tickets. READ  

Bavarian independence becomes reality online
Christian Söder at the Los Angeles headquarters of ICANN in April. Photo: DPA

Bavarian independence becomes reality online

Starting on Tuesday, people and businesses in Bavaria will be able to use web addresses with the domain .bayern, ending the Free State's online subjection to the Federal Republic of Germany. READ  

JobTalk Germany
Immigrant firms create 2.2 million German jobs
Photo: DPA

Immigrant firms create 2.2 million German jobs

A new study shows more and more immigrants are starting businesses in Germany, bringing some much-needed entrepreneurial spirit to the country. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
National
Revealed: Germany's military feet of clay
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Shutterstock
Society
Quiz: How good is your German?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Thousands take to Berlin's streets for marathon
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germans look to UK to liven up Parliament
Photo: DPA
Society
'Incest should be legal,' says ethics board
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten noises that sound very different in German
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: Can you pass the German citizenship test?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
How to become an au pair in Germany
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,149
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd