Faith in economic integration in Europe has fallen. According to polling from the Pew Research Center fewer people in Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Poland, and the Czech Republic now believe that economic integration strengthens economies than did in 2012. Disillusion is the most noticeable in France. In 2012, 36 percent of French respondents said they believed that economic integration strengthened the economy. Now, only 22 percent do.
The number of people with favorable attitudes towards the European Union has also fallen, except in the Czech Republic where now 38 percent (hardly a ringing endorsement) of respondents say they have favorable opinion of the E.U., a jump of four percent from last year. Again, the drop is especially noticeable in France, where now only 41 percent of respondents say they view the E.U. favorably, down from 60 percent a year ago.
Chart from Pew below:
What is especially telling about Pew’s findings are that the increasingly negative attitudes towards the E.U. and towards economic integration are seen across not only comparatively wealthy countries like Germany, France, and the U.K., but also in the PIIGS (Italy, Greece, Spain) featured in the poll. Rich or poor, Europeans are not happy about the state of their union. Even in Germany, where belief in Economic integration and the E.U. is highest among the countries featured in the poll, only 54 percent of respondents say they believe economic integration has benefited the economy and only 60 percent view the E.U. favorably.