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   Today   the  Commission  issued  the  first  results  of   its   standard
   EUROBAROMETER  survey  No.38,  conducted at a time when  the  process  of
   ratifying  the  Maastricht  Treaty  is  coming  under  increasing  public
   scrutiny within the Community.

   The  EUROBAROMETER's  four standard indicators of  support  for  European
   unification and the Community show:

   *  73%  versus 19% are in favour of efforts being made to  unify  Western

   *  60% say their country's membership of the Community is a "good thing",
      23% "neither good nor bad", and 12% a "bad thing";

   *  49% versus 34% see their country benefiting from Community membership;

   *  44% say they would be very sorry if they were told that the  Community
      would be scrapped, 34% indifferent and 12% very relieved.

   While EC citizens are more likely to support rather than oppose  "Europe"
   in each question, the trend since the last survey of Spring 1992 shows an
   EC-wide decline in positive responses of between three and five points.

   Most  significant  falls  in support for  European  unification  and  the
   European Community during this period were registered in both the  United
   Kingdom (between -9 and -14 points for each measure) and East Germany  (-
   10  to -12).  The survey took place shortly after  sterling's  withdrawal
   from the Exchange Rate Mechanism, while the East German result appears to
   signal the definite end of its post-revolutionary euphoria.

   Major reductions were also experienced in Italy (-4 to -7 points),  where
   support  for  the Community on many measures has been  traditionally  the
   strongest;  in other southern EC members - Spain (0 to -8), Portugal  (-2
   to  -6), Greece (-1 to -6); and in Ireland (-1 to  -7). In several  cases
   this  may  reflect the effects of austerity measures perceived to  be  in
   preparation  for  monetary  union as well as  the  exchange  rate  crises
   experienced in both Italy and Spain just prior to the survey.

   Remarkably, Denmark bucked the trend, with increased support for  Western
   unification  (+4),  Community  membership (+11),  perceived  benefits  of
   membership  (+6) and feeling sorry if the Community were to  be  scrapped
   (+11).  Since  the  1986 referendum on the Single European  Act  (if  not
   since  their 1972 referendum on whether to join the European  (Economic!)
   Community),  more  and  more  Danes  have  systematically  supported  the
   principle  of  the  Community while remaining deeply  sceptical  about  a
   Political  European  Union.  In  fact, despite their  recent  narrow  but
   significant rejection of "Maastricht", Danish support has peaked on three
   out of four indicators.

   Results show little change in France compared to six months ago (the poll
   was conducted just after its referendum on Maastricht).

   As recent EUROBAROMETERs have shown, support for European unification and
   the European Community had reached an all-time high in Autumn 1990/Spring
   1991  on  all standard indicator measures, but had started to  fall  even
   before  agreement had been reached on the Maastricht Treaty  in  December


   In ten out of twelve countries, absolute or relative majorities of people
   at  the  time of the poll said they are "for" the Maastricht  Treaty:  of
   those who took a stand, majorities of Italians (85:15), Belgians (83:17),
   Portuguese (80:20), Greeks (79:21), Dutch (78:22), Luxembourgers (72:28),
   Irish (70:30), Spaniards (68:32), Germans (59:41) and French (54:46) were
   in favour of the Treaty. However, around half of all Spaniards (50%)  and
   Portuguese (47%) were undecided.

   The  situation  is different in the United Kingdom, where  62%  of  those
   expressing an opinion say they are against the Treaty, while only 38% are
   for  it.  In  Denmark, the gap between those in favour  (47%)  and  those
   against (53%) remains relatively narrow.

   Irrespective  of  whether  they are for or  against  the  Treaty  itself,
   relative  or  absolute  majorities of people  in  all  countries  believe
   Maastricht will have a positive (46%) rather than a negative (27%) effect
   on  their  country,  including the British (36%  versus  31%).  The  only
   exception are the Danes, who are divided on the subject (40% versus 42%).
   6% of EC citizens said there would be "no effect". People may, of course,
   be  personally  against  the Treaty but see positive  effects  for  their
   country as a whole.

   Majorities in all countries feel Maastricht would have a positive  effect
   on  the European Community (EC wide: 59% "positive"; 6% "no effect";  13%
   "negative")  while much fewer said the Treaty would influence  their  own
   life (EC wide: 27% "positive"; 31% "no effect"; 17% "negative").

   The  intensity  of the public debate on Maastricht is shown by  the  fact
   that 85% of EC citizens now say that they have heard of it.  However  the
   lack  of information still remains great. Only 19% say they know a  great
   deal  or a fair amount about it, while the rest - an overwhelming  75%  -
   say  they know just a little or have no more than heard of it.  Both  the
   Danes  (41%)  and the Irish (31%) were the most likely to say  that  they
   knew a great deal or a fair amount - the French less so (21%): the recent
   debate before their referendum addressed several other European issues at
   the same time.

   Commenting  on  the results, Jean DONDELINGER, Member of  the  Commission
   responsible for information said: "Along with the fast-approaching Single
   Market,  Maastricht  has  been a watershed for  the  development  of  the
   Community.  The permissive consensus has begun to erode. EC citizens  are
   showing  that  they  want  to be more  involved  in  the  decision-taking
   process.  But  basic information on "how Europe works"  continues  to  be
                                     - - -

   A  total of 13,008 interviews were carried out in people's homes  in  the
   twelve  Member  States of the European Community during the  period  21st
   September  -  15th October 1992 by  INRA  (Europe)-European  Coordination
   Office, Brussels, and its network of institutes.

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