Over half of Romanians say they feel European Union (EU) citizens, while less than half of citizens feel the same in Bulgaria, the UK, Cyprus and Greece, reveal the data of a Eurobarometer survey, published on Tuesday, ten months ahead of the European elections.
However, the top of the countries whose citizens say they feel European includes Luxembourg (88 percent), Malta (81 percent) and Slovakia (76 percent). Romania ranks 23rd in the rankings of EU membership feeling. Owning a single currency strengthens, to some extent, this sense of citizenship: 64 percent of those surveyed in the euro zone feel European Union citizens, compared to only 57 percent outside the euro area.
According to the study, Romanians (62 percent) are also optimistic about the EU’s future, a view shared by the citizens of 18 other countries, including Denmark (72 percent), Estonia (64 percent), Lithuania (64 percent), Malta (63 percent) and Poland (63 percent). On the other hand, nine countries gather a majority of pessimistic people, especially Portugal (67 percent), Cyprus (69 percent) and Greece (69 percent).
Over two thirds of Europeans think that their voice does not count in the EU (67 percent), increasing by three percentage points compared to last barometer. Romanians consider only in proportion of 23 percent that their country’s voice counts in the European Union, at a distance from the countries in the top, whose citizens consider that their country’s voice counts in the Union: Denmark (56 percent), Croatia and Belgium (48 percent each) and Luxembourg (46 percent).
In what concerns awareness of the rights they have as EU citizens, almost half of Europeans answered yes (46 percent, +1 versus last report in the fall of 2012). In what concerns Romania with 43 percent, respectively + 8, it features among the countries where there have been the most significant developments when compared to the survey in the fall of 2012, along with Portugal (+10, to 45 percent) and Slovakia (+7, to 59 percent).
In respects of the perception of the current situation of the economy at national level, the citizens’ attitudes vary. In Sweden, Germany and Luxembourg, three quarters of those polled or more believe that the economic situation in their country is good, while in six countries – Greece, Spain, Slovenia, Portugal, Bulgaria and Cyprus – below 5 percent of the respondents share this view. In four other member countries, including Romania, less than 10 percent of the polled agree with this assertion. The other three countries whose citizens have a similar view are Ireland, Italy and France.
In all countries, those surveyed believe that economic issues are the main challenges faced by their country. The situation of economy is the main topic of concern in Romania (44 percent), and in Cyprus (75 percent).
The research was conducted between May 10 and 26, in each of the 28 EU Member States (Croatia officially joined on July 1, but participated in this survey). (National News Agency AGERPRES)