Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Drop in support for enlargement

Enlargement has gone down like a lead balloon with the majority of people in the EU, according to the latests Eurobarometer survey. Overall support stands at 42 percent in the EU-15, down five percent since the last survey in autumn 2003.

Predictably, after the widely publicised fears of mass immigration, support has fallen seven percent in the UK. Border countries are especially affected with support dropping from 38 percent to 28 percent in Germany. Austria is down seven percent, and Italy five. But the Netherlands also shows a fall of Netherlands six percent, while support in communautaire Luxemburg has dropped eight percent.

Only in three of the EU-15 countries has public opinion improved: Finland, up three percent, and Greece and Ireland each up one percent.

The EurActive web site, which announces the survey, includes a patronising comment from Hendrik Voos, Professor of European affairs at Gent University. He says, "Politicians have not managed to explain correctly what the enlargement means," said . "The fears of the population are unjustified. There are more advantages than disadvantages in enlargement."

It is remarkable how, whenever people are opposed to anything the EU does, it is because they are ignorant and need to be taken aside by politicians to be re-educated.

To see the full Eurobarometer report, which covers a wide range of issues click here.

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