Bulgarians divided on benefits of EU membership for country

Just less than half of Bulgarians polled in an EU-wide survey see Bulgaria’s membership of the European Union as good for the country, although this is two points up over the past year.

Forty-nine per cent of Bulgarians saw EU membership as good for the country, 34 per cent saw it as neither good nor bad while 13 per cent saw it as bad.

This is according to the 2016 Parlemeter survey, conducted in the 28 member states of the EU from September 24 to October 3 by Kantar Public (formerly TNS opinion).

A clear majority of Europeans still believe that being a member of the EU is a good thing (53 per cent, down two percentage points on 2015), and that their country has benefitted from this membership (60 per cent).

Among Bulgarians, the percentage of those who see their country as having benefitted is lower – 49 per cent, though that is also up two percentage points on 2015. Thirty per cent saw Bulgaria as not having benefitted, while 21 per cent answered “don’t know”.

Of those Bulgarians who saw EU membership as having benefitted the country, 23 per cent saw it as having contributed to economic growth, 29 per cent as having improved co-operation with other EU countries while the highest – 53 per cent – saw it having created new work opportunities in the country. Notably, this latter factor was highest among Bulgarians out of all the EU countries.

The average among the EU for saying that things were going wrong in the EU was 54 per cent. The average among EU citizens for saying that things were going wrong in their country was 58 per cent.

Twenty-four per cent of Bulgarians saw things as going wrong in the EU. Fifty-three per cent of Bulgarians saw their country as going in the wrong direction.

On the question of whether their voice counted in the EU, Bulgarians were precisely at the average: 53 per cent.

But as to agreeing that “my voice counts in my country”, just 39 per cent of Bulgarians said yes.

(Photo: (c) Clive Leviev-Sawyer)




The Sofia Globe staff

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