Bulgaria Thinks of EU More Than Any Other Member State

Bulgarians view the European Union more favorably than any other EU member state, according to the latest Eurobarometer public opinion survey.

The poll results were announced Friday by the European Parliament and have to do with the EP elections in 2014, BTA reported.A total of 61% of the Bulgarian citizens see EU’s image as positive, compared with 58% of the Romanians, with Romania being a close second.

The British are the most negative towards the EU, with only 22% of them saying they view the Union positively.

Forty percent of the respondents have a favourable opinion of the EU, compared to 31% in November 2011. Half said that membership of the EU is “a good thing”, compared to 47% in the previous Eurobarometer survey.

However, EU citizens are still divided on whether or not their voice counts – 54% gave negative answers, down 7 points from last year, as opposed to 42% positive responses, which were up 9 points.

Some 57% of respondents said voting in the next European Parliament elections is the best way to make their voices heard, with a quarter of them already aware that these elections will take place in two years time.

More than 50% of the respondents said they would be more inclined to vote, than they are today, if each European political party was to put forward a candidate for the post of President of the European Commission.

Job creation and fighting unemployment came in as the top priority anti-crisis measures for the EU citizens, according to the survey.

56% of the Bulgarians believe that Bulgaria’s stance is taken into account in the EU, an increase of 13% year-on-year.

The EU member states that are mostly negative regarding the common EU currency are Bulgaria, Sweden, Denmark, France, Poland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Hungary.

Those backing the euro are Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Ireland, Portugal, Estonia, Italy, Germany, Slovakia, the UK, Austria, and Romania.

About 2/3 of all Bulgarians said they were aware of the existence of the European Parliament compared to only 1/3 who are aware of the existence of the European Commission, while EU institutions such as the Economic and Social Council and the Committee of Regions are totally unknown in Bulgaria, the Eurobarometer survey has found.

The image of the EU has improved in the eyes of a majority of Europeans in the last 10 months, according to the latest Eurobarometer survey.

A survey commissioned by the European Parliament found that a majority of EU citizens believe that the Parliament is the institution that best represents the EU.

Those surveyed also said that voting in the European elections is the best way to make their voice heard. The next Parliament elections will be in June 2014.

“The findings are encouraging”, said European Parliament President Martin Schulz, as cited by EurActiv.

“The current economic and financial crisis demonstrates that we need solutions at supranational level. The EU is a unique project worldwide with law-making powers that can offer such solutions, where individual measures at individual state level would not suffice. Citizens recognise this,” Schulz added.

The Eurobarometer survey was commissioned by the European Parliament and conducted between 2 and 17 June 2012. 26,622 citizens were interviewed in the 27 EU countries. The results have a margin of error of between 1.9 and 3.1 percentage points.

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