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Europe - Results of an online survey commissioned by the Association of German Banks

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“Europe” polarises opinion. As results of an online survey commissioned by the Association of German Banks show, a good half of the respondents (52%) think “favourably” of the EU; just under four out of ten (39%), on the other hand, say they think “unfavourably” of it. This is just one of many views on the European Union from our recent survey on European affairs.

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Europe - Results of an online survey commissioned by the Association of German Banks

  1. 1. EUROPE Results of an online survey commissioned by the Association of German Banks KANTAR TNS, Bielefeld December 2018
  2. 2. Source: Association of German Banks/Kantar TNS; November 2018 “Europe” polarises opinion: views on the European Union are divided  Over half of the respondents (55%) are “strongly” or “very strongly” interested in European politics. This means that, six months ahead of the next elections to the European Parliament in May 2019, broad sections of the population are already focusing attention on European issues and the European Union.  Views on the European Union vary widely: a good half of the respondents (52%) think “favourably” or “very favourably” of the EU; just under four out of ten (39%), on the other hand, say they think “fairly unfavourably” or “unfavourably” of it.  The higher their interest in European politics, the more positively respondents view the EU.  The majority of respondents have a positive view of the work and importance of the European Parliament. 60% find the Parliament makes an “important” or “very important” contribution to European policy. A good quarter (27%), however, take the opposite view and 13% hold no view.  A good third of the respondents (36%) assume that EU membership is mainly advantageous for Germany, a further third (32%) assume that advantages and disadvantages more or less balance each other out. One fifth (22%) think the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.  A relative majority (41%) of respondents would like to see even closer cooperation between EU member states in the future. A good third (36%) would like to see member states become more independent again. One in ten thinks things should stay as they are.  To improve the European Union’s ability to act, 54% of those questioned support the proposal that the EU should be able to take action in important policy areas with a smaller number of countries. A quarter (26%) do not consider “variable integration” of this kind a good idea, and a fifth of the respondents have no view on the matter. 2
  3. 3. Source: Association of German Banks/Kantar TNS; November 2018 “I am … interested in European politics” 3 13 42 34 8 3 very strongly strongly not very not at all don't know Question: “How interested are you in European politics, meaning issues relating to Europe, European countries and the European Union?” More than half of the respondents (55%) are “strongly” or “very strongly” interested in European politics. This means that, six months ahead of the next elections to the European Parliament in May 2019, broad sections of the population are already focusing on European issues and the European Union.
  4. 4. Source: Association of German Banks/Kantar TNS; November 2018 “ I think … of the European Union” 4 11 41 29 10 9 very favourably favourably fairly unfavourably unfavourably don't know Question: “What do you think in general of the European Union? Do you think …?” Views on the European Union vary widely: a good half of respondents (52%) think “favourably” or “very favourably” of the EU; just under four out of ten (39%), on the other hand, say their attitude is “fairly unfavourable” or “unfavourable”.
  5. 5. Source: Association of German Banks/Kantar TNS; November 2018 5 1 1 11 29 9 6 11 32 19 25 41 23 36 55 34 13 35 12 4 3 very favourably favourably fairly unfavourably unfavourably don't know “I think … of the European Union” The higher their interest in European politics, the more positively respondents view the EU. Of the respondents with a strong interest in European politics, 71% think “favourably” or “very favourably” of the EU; the figure is only 16% among those with no interest. Interest in very strong strong not strong no interest European politics
  6. 6. Source: Association of German Banks/Kantar TNS; November 2018 6 “The European Parliament makes … to European policy” 15 45 18 9 13 a very important contribution an important contribution a fairly unimportant contribution no important contribution don't know Question: Elections to the European Parliament will be held next May. How do you rate the importance for European policy of the European elections and the European Parliament as a whole? Does the European Parliament make …?” The majority of respondents take a positive view of the work and importance of the European Parliament. 60% find the Parliament makes an “important” or “very important” contribution to European policy. A good quarter (27%), however, take the opposite view and 13% are “don’t knows”.
  7. 7. Source: Association of German Banks/Kantar TNS; November 2018 7 “Membership of the European Union brings Germany …” 36 32 22 10 mainly advantages advantages and disadvantages mainly disadvantages don't know Question: “Do you think that, on balance, membership of the European Union brings Germany …?” A good third of respondents (36%) assume EU membership is mainly advantageous for Germany. A further third (32%) assume that advantages and disadvantages more or less balance each other out. One fifth (22%) believe there are mainly disadvantages.
  8. 8. Source: Association of German Banks/Kantar TNS; November 2018 “Cooperation between countries in the EU should …?” 8 41 36 11 12 become even closer become less close stay as it is don't know Question: “Should cooperation between the countries in the European Union be even closer in future, or should countries become more independent again, or should things stay as they are? A relative majority (41%) of respondents would like to see even closer cooperation between EU member states in the future. A good third (36%) would like to see member states become more independent again. One in ten thinks things should stay as they are.
  9. 9. Source: Association of German Banks/Kantar TNS; November 2018 “In important areas, the EU should be able to take action even with a smaller number of member states.” 9 12 42 17 9 20 very good quite good not so good not good at all don't know “I think this would be …” Question: “In the EU, the 28 – soon to be 27 – member states are often unable to agree on a course of action. It has therefore been suggested that, in certain important policy areas (such as foreign and security policy or internal security), a smaller number of member states should be able to take joint action even if the others do not (yet) want to join in. Do you think this proposal is …?” To improve the European Union’s ability to act, 54% of those questioned support the proposal to allow the EU to take action in important policy areas with a smaller number of countries. A quarter (26%) do not consider “variable integration” of this kind a good idea and a fifth of respondents have no view on the matter.
  10. 10. Source: Association of German Banks/Kantar TNS; November 2018 Survey design 10 Survey period: November 2018 Sample: 1,004 interviewees in Germany aged over 16 Methodology: Ad-hoc CAWI (computer-assisted web interview) Commissioned by: Association of German Banks, Berlin Conducted by: KANTAR TNS, Bielefeld

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