EU citizens positive toward bloc: survey

Updated: 2007-12-18 23:10

BRUSSELS -- Citizens of the European Union (EU) are generally positive toward the bloc, according to the results of a survey released on Tuesday.

Support for national membership of the EU has climbed to 58 percent, the highest in more than a decade, according to the autumn 2007 Eurobarometer survey.

This figure is one percentage point higher than in the spring 2007 Eurobarometer survey.

The same percentage of citizens think that their country benefits from EU membership.

Fifty-five percent of citizens express trust in the European Parliament and 50 percent in the European Commission.

The support for the two institutions dropped slightly from the spring survey, but remains above the level seen in Autumn 2006.

"It is very encouraging to see that support for membership of the European Union is at its highest in over a decade and that twice as many EU citizens think that their country benefits from the EU membership as think their country does not benefit," said Margot Wallstrom, European Commission Vice President in charge of institutional relations and communication strategy.

Overall, EU citizens are increasingly favoring joint decisions at EU level, but especially so in the the area of terrorism, environment, research and energy.

EU citizens consider that in order to strengthen the EU in the future, the European institutions should emphasize the fight against crime, environmental issues and immigration.

The autumn Eurobarometer survey, commissioned by the European Commission, was conducted through face-to-face interviews of 30,000 people between September 22 and November 3, 2007.

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