A large majority of Irish people have a positive view of EU membership at 72 percent and an even higher percentage recognise how Ireland has benefited from membership, a new Parlemeter poll released has confirmed, according to Mairead McGuinness MEP.
“This latest survey illustrates a rise in positive sentiment towards the European Union with overall support for membership increasing to 72pc in Ireland (55pc EU-wide).
“82pc of Irish people feel Ireland has benefitedfrom EU membership, above the European average of 60pc, which saw a 6pc increase since June 2013. This is based this view mainly on the Union’s contribution to economic growth, peacekeeping and a strengthening of security, as well as cooperation between Member States,” McGuinness noted.
Another interesting point, ahead of the UK’s referendum on EU membership, is that most respondents felt that their country would not do better without the EU, in many of the fields, and particularly in economic and trade terms. The survey found that 46pc of UK citizens feel attached to the EU, 47pc view EU membership as a good thing, while 51pc believe the UK has benefited from membership of the Union.
“Polls such as these should be viewed in the correct context but do cast a light on certain areas of public opinion that are important for European policymakers to be aware of. It is clear that our citizens have taken a greater interest in certain policy aspects such as migration recently (54pc, up by 11 points since 2013).
“46pc of Irish people want the European Parliament to have a greater role in EU affairs and tend to trust the institution, 42pc of Irish people feel their voice counts in the EU, above the EU average of 39pc.
“It is important to note that the Parliament is the only directly elected EU institution allowing MEPs to represent constituents in shaping policy,” added McGuinness, Vice-President of Parliament.
The Parlemeter survey conducted in the 28 EU Member States, the fieldwork for which was carried out by TNS opinion between 19 and 29 September 2015.
EU and national results can be downloaded in EN on the Eurobarometer page of the European Parliament: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/atyourservice/EN/20150630PVL00108/2015-parlemeter
The European average is weighted, the six most populous Member States accounting for around 70%. For each question, the European and national results are presented in graphs and tables that illustrate the considerable differences that can be found, for certain questions, from one country to another.