Beyond Brexit: Favorable Opinion of EU Plunges Everywhere, Especially France

The UK is not the only country with increasing doubts about the EU.

A Pew Research Center study on Euroskepticism Beyond Brexit shows a huge dip in EU favorability across the board.

France has an even lower overall favorable rating of the EU than the UK. The favorable score is 38% in France, 44% in the UK.

The British are not the only ones with doubts about the European Union. The EU’s image and stature have been on a roller coaster ride in recent years throughout Europe. In a number of nations the portion of the public with a favorable view of the Brussels-based institution fell markedly from 2012 to 2013 as the European economy cratered. It subsequently rebounded in 2014 and 2015. But the EU is again experiencing a sharp dip in public support in a number of its largest member states.

EU Favorability

EU favorability is down in five of the six nations surveyed in both 2015 and 2016. There has been a double-digit drop in France (down 17 percentage points) and Spain (16 points), and single-digit declines in Germany (8 points), the United Kingdom (7 points) and Italy (6 points).

EU Favorability2

Young people – those ages 18 to 34 – are more favorable toward the European Union than people 50 and older in six of the 10 nations surveyed. The generation gap is most pronounced in France – 25 percentage points – with 56% of young people but only 31% of older people having a positive opinion of the EU. There are similar generation gaps of 19 points in the UK, 16 points in the Netherlands, 14 points in Poland and Germany, and 13 points in Greece.

EU Favorability3

Ever Closer Union – Not

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Despite having an unfavorable rating of 61%, nearly as many French want more power given to the EU than taken away.

That said, there is not a single country in  support of giving the EU more power.

EU Favorability4

Migration Crisis

Every nation strongly disagrees with the Eu handling of migration.

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Fed Up With the EU

Clearly the UK is not the EU’s only problem. People are fed up.

Frustration shows not only in EU polls, but in the rise of parties on the left in some countries and on the right in others.

Voters everywhere stew over the economy. We have not yet reached a flash point, but it’s coming.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock