French surveys show many unhappy with European Union

Two French surveys on the European Union recently caught my eye.

On May 5, 2014, a Viavoice survey for Libération revealed that nearly two-thirds of participants — 64% — think the EU geographical area is too large. They would prefer that the EU be comprised of the six founding member states or only those countries using the euro.

Fifty-eight percent of the French participants believe that the EU imposes too many economic constraints.

When asked about the EU in general terms, 49% had a negative impression. Forty-five per cent viewed the EU positively. This is similar to various British polls I’ve seen this year. I saw one the other week which said that 51% of Britons approved of EU membership and 49% did not.

Like the British, a significant percentage of  Frenchmen — 43% — are concerned that the EU is diluting their national identity as well as that of other member states.  Forty-six per cent see the EU as driving opportunity for cultural diversity as a good thing.

From this it is clear that ‘little Englanders’ are far from alone in worrying about the EU project.

A CSA Institute survey for Nice-Matin and BFMTV on May 8 revealed that, over the past decade, an increasing number of French people have come to dislike the EU.

The CSA survey taken in 2004 showed that 67% of Frenchmen believed that membership in the EU was ‘a good thing’. Twenty-five per cent thought it was bad.

Today, only 51% approve of France’s membership; 38% do not.

The results were even worse in 2013: 52% (good) versus 41% (bad).

The CSA survey states that participants’ principal frustrations with the EU include growing unemployment, increased immigration and — as with the Viavoice survey — a loss of national or cultural identity.

The CSA survey also reveals that 78% believe EU officials are too out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Frenchmen and that there are too many senseless regulations coming from Brussels (72%).

These results give us some useful data with which to rebut British politicians and pundits who say the English are the only ones unhappy with the EU.

2 comments for “French surveys show many unhappy with European Union

  1. May 15, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Yes, I’d noticed that and there was, of course, that referendum result. The French vote by the hip pocket and if they see it is economically more viable outside … then voila.

  2. Rossa
    May 16, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    One of the biggest problems is the conflation of Europe with the EU. Most people are quite happy with Europe but haven’t a clue where the latter is concerned. The EU doesn’t exist in real terms. It’s a political construct built on top of Europe.

    In much the same way that people believe that the European Parliament of MEPs decides on the legislation when it is the European Council, which is unelected, that does.

    And most people haven’t a clue that even the Council is only disseminating policy decisions from the CFR and other UN bodies etc. The EU is only a regional committee/administration in the World Government which is already in place. Forget what is coming…’s already here!

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