Bulgarians still mostly optimistic about future of EU, Eurobarometer spring 2018 poll finds

The percentage of Bulgarians who are optimistic about the future of the European Union was 61 per cent in Eurobarometer’s spring 2018 poll, unchanged from the autumn 2017 survey.

The poll in the 28 member states of the EU was done between March 17 and 28 2018 on the basis of 27 988 face-to-face interviews, but also the five EU candidate countries and the Turkish Cypriot community. 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 58 per cent of EU citizens said that they were optimistic about the future of the bloc, which was a gain of one percentage point in the past six months. Overall, respondents in 26 member states had a mostly optimistic view, with only Greece (53 per cent) and the United Kingdom (48 per cent) holding a predominantly negative outlook.

Spring 2018 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. The figures were unchanged from the autumn 2017 survey, with the proportion of respondents with a positive image of the EU increasing in 15 member states and declining in 12.

Bulgaria had the second highest proportion of respondents with a positive view of the EU at 56 per cent (second only to Ireland’s 64 per cent), although that was one percentage point lower than in the previous survey.

Across the EU, the poll found that 49 per cent saw their domestic economy as good and 47 per cent as bad. The positive views marked a distinct rise compared with 2009, when it was at about 20 per cent, and the first time since autumn 2007 that positive views outnumbered the negative ones.

At domestic level, Bulgarians’ opinions were bleaker, the Eurobarometer spring 2018 poll found. Just 18 per cent saw Bulgaria’s domestic economy as good, while 72 per cent saw it as a bad, though this latter figure marked a drop of two percentage points from the autumn 2017 survey.

In terms of the financial situation of their households, 41 per cent of Bulgarian respondents said it was good (compared to 71 per cent in the EU as a whole) and 54 per cent said it was bad.

The rising cost of living (35 per cent) and the economic situation (29 per cent) were the two most important issues facing the country, according to Bulgarian respondents, much higher than in the EU as a whole, where unemployment and health and social security were more pressing concerns for respondents in other countries.

Asked about the most important issues facing the EU at the moment, Bulgarian respondents identified immigration (46 per cent) and terrorism (42 per cent), same as respondents in the EU as a whole, albeit the proportion was higher than the EU average – 38 per cent and 29 per cent, respectively.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)



The Sofia Globe staff

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