Love Lost –EU disapproval higher than ever among EU countries

Eurasia News

Love Lost –EU disapproval higher than ever among EU countries

By Agha Iqrar Haroon

People of Scandinavian countries are unhappy with leadership of European Union comparing their approval of EU leadership in year 2008 with year 2013, reports Gallup International. Overall disapproval of EU decision within EU family comes from Spanish and people of Ireland. Popularity of EU leadership has gone down 32% comparing year 2008 in Spain and 23% in Ireland. Scandinavian countries indicate that disapproval rate is 14 higher in Finland, 10% in Denmark, 17% in Sweden. Slovenians disapproval is higher 11% and Netherlanders 11%.

EU social scientists believe that economic insecurity has weakened support for EU leadership among residents in many European countries since 2008. Disapproval is clearest in the bailout countries where the EU has imposed austerity policies, compounding the economic hardships individuals were already experiencing from the financial and economic crisis. But the problem is not merely economic. Individuals’ sense of disconnect from EU power is clear from the dwindling turnouts in EU elections, an ongoing trend since the first popular vote to elect EU officials in 1979.

Concerns about immigration voiced in the media and the rise in popularity of radical right-wing parties and movements in Austria, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, and the Netherlands indicate that a sizable segment of the public sees the EU as unable to provide satisfactory responses to their concerns.

“In 2013, the leadership of the European Union earned some of its lowest approval ratings in Europe from residents living in several countries that the EU bailed out financially. In Spain and Greece, approval levels hit record lows, suggesting that residents are connecting austerity measures and the economic hardship they impose with the EU’s leadership”, reports Anna Manchin for Gallup International.


However EU youth between the ages of 15 and 30 support the EU’s leadership. In 14 EU countries, a majority of this youngest group approved of EU leadership. However, approval of EU leadership declined among the youngest group in several countries, including some of the bailout countries where the EU-imposed austerity measures have disproportionately affected the younger generation’s job prospects and economic well-being.