Following Brexit, citizens still hold to European values
In a Eurobarometer survey conducted across all states of the EU soon after the United Kingdom voted to leave, the majority of respondents continued to hold a positive view of the European Union, and agreed it embodies peace, social equality and solidarity, and tolerance and openness to others.
Irish people are among the most positive towards the EU, at 80%.
Unemployment, social inequalities, migration issues and terrorism and security issues are seen as the main current challenges for the EU. But three in four Irish believe the EU offers a positive perspective for your people. Across the EU, respondents said comparable living and education standards, and well-defined external borders would be most helpful for the future of Europe.
Most respondents to the survey, including large and growing majorities in Ireland, supported more European-level decision making in a range of key policy areas — including fighting terrorism, promoting democracy and peace, protecting the environment and dealing with migration issues.
Although most agree more decision making should take place at the EU level, respondents’ opinions were divided over a “twospeed Europe”.
The majority say countries that are ready to intensify the development of a common European policy in certain important areas should do so without having to wait for the others.
When comparing the EU with the rest of the world, most respondents consider the EU a place of stability in a troubled world — an opinion shared by the large majority of respondents in each EU member state, including 81% of Irish people.
When i t comes to the political influence of the EU compared to other global powers, the EU is considered to have a weaker political influence than Russia, China or the United States — but stronger than Japan, Brazil and India.
Guardian of society
Social equality and solidarity, as well as environmental protection and progress and innovation, are seen as being the most important principles to help European society deal with global challenges. In addition, “cultural diversity and openness to others” was mentioned almost as often as free trade and the market economy.
Surveyed after the Brexit vote, most EU citizens still favour ‘Europe’.