The percentage of Bulgarians who are optimistic about the future of the European Union has risen to 59 per cent in Eurobarometer’s spring 2017 poll, a gain of four percentage points compared with the autumn 2016 survey.
In the Eurobarometer poll, 13 per cent of Bulgarians said that they were “very optimistic” about the future of the EU, a gain of two percentage points, and 46 per cent said that they were “fairly optimistic”, a gain of two percentage points.
The poll in the 28 member states of the EU was done between May 20 and 30 2017 on the basis of 28 007 face-to-face interviews. It was commissioned by the European Commission’s directorate-general for communications and conducted by TNS opinion & social.
Across the EU, the poll found that 56 per cent of EU citizens said that they were optimistic about the future of the EU, which was a gain of six percentage points in the past six months.
Across the EU, the poll found that 51 per cent saw their domestic economy as good and 46 per cent as bad. The positive views marked a distinct rise compared with 2009, when it was at about 20 per cent.
Spring 2017 found 40 per cent of those polled across the EU as having a positive view of the bloc, 37 per cent neutral and 21 per cent negative.
In Bulgaria, 17 per cent of those polled said that they had a “very positive” view of the EU, a gain of four percentage points compared with autumn, and 38 per cent had a “fairly positive” view. Twenty-eight per cent described their opinion of the EU as neutral, a drop of five percentage points, while just 10 per cent had a negative view of the bloc, a drop of one percentage point.
At domestic level, Bulgarians’ opinions were bleaker, the Eurobarometer spring 2017 poll found.
Just 15 per cent saw Bulgaria’s domestic economy as good while 80 per cent saw it as a bad, though this latter figure marked a slight drop from the autumn 2016 survey.
Trust in the Bulgarian government was recorded at 28 per cent, a gain of six percentage points, while distrust was at 63 per cent, a drop of seven percentage points.
Notably, when the autumn 2016 survey was done, the second Boiko Borissov government was in power. The spring 2017 survey was done just a few weeks after Borissov returned to power at the head of his third government, a coalition between his GERB party and the ultra-nationalist United Patriots.
Bulgarians’ trust in their Parliament was recorded at 20 per cent, a gain of five percentage points, while distrust in the legislature was 73 per cent, the Eurobarometer poll found.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)