Just as many Germans sceptical of EU as Brits

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Just as many Germans sceptical of EU as Brits
A 'Vote Leave' campaign in the UK. Photo: DPA

A survey by Pew Research Center shows that while Brits may be the ones pushing to split away from the European Union, an equal proportion of Germans also feel negatively towards Brussels.


The poll found that 48 percent of Germans have an unfavourable attitude towards the EU, exactly the same proportion as in the United Kingdom.

But while only 44 percent of Brits polled had a favourable attitude to the common European project, half of all Germans did, the poll results released this week showed.

Furthermore, while there is a clear ideological rift in Britain concerning Brussels - 61 percent of people on the left support the EU as opposed to 38 percent on the right - Germans are much more similar in their attitudes.

A slight majority of 51 percent of those on the right favour the EU, as 63 percent of those on the left do.

Moderates are most sceptical in the Bundesrepublik. Only 47 percent of them have a favourable attitude to the EU.

The poll also found that support for the union had fallen sharply in Germany over the course of the last 12 years, from 58 percent in 2004 to 50 percent today.

Other than Poland, all the major members of the EU have seen support for the project drop drastically over the last twelve months, a development the report attributes to the anger at the EU's handling of the refugee crisis and common economic policy.

People over the age of 50 have become particularly disenchanted with the project. In Germany, favourability among this age category plummeted by 11 points over the past year.

Disapproval of how the EU has tackled the refugee crisis is high across European member states, although the reasons for the disapproval are likely to vary drastically.

In Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed with limited success to institute a European quota system for sharing responsibility for refugees, 67 percent of people disagreed with European policy.

A slightly higher 72 percent of Hungarians disapproved. Hungary was one of the main countries which opposed the establishment of a quota system.

Management of economic issues also continues to be a source for disaffection across Europe, with Germany being one of the few countries where more people have a favourable view of EU economic policy than not.

While 47 percent of Germans think the EU is doing a good job on economic issues, a mere 6 percent of Greeks do.

Meanwhile the desire of many UK citizens to repatriate powers from Brussels back to London is likely to find moderate support among their German neighbours.

More Germans (43 percent) would like to see powers brought back to Berlin than would like to see Brussels take on more authority (26 percent).


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