European Union

Eurobarometer 84: EU's popularity is declining

Immigration is the biggest problem for Luxembourg and European citizens

07-eurobarometer-graphique-FRIn early March 2016, the European Commission published the new 'Standard Eurobarometer' study about Luxembourg. Carried out in autumn 2015, the survey asked the opinion of 506 residents, of which 60 had Luxembourg citizenship. Several themes were tackled, namely the situation of the national and the European economy, the most important problems on a personal basis, the image of the European Union, immigration, etc. The latter is considered by 36% of Luxembourg residents and 35% of Europeans in general as being one of the most important problems on a national and a European level.

One has to specify that the survey was conducted at a moment where Europe was facing an unprecedented refugee influx. In the ranking of the most important problems on a national and a European level, immigration is followed by housing (34%, EU 8%) and unemployment (31%, EU 36%).

Still concerning immigration matters, the Luxembourg residents are sceptical when it comes to immigrants from third states: 52% of citizens from the Grand Duchy (and 59% of EU citizens) reject them. According to the study, 'facing the proportionally very high arrival of refugees in Luxembourg, serenity dominates among the residents, especially among the Luxembourg citizens. The foreigners living in Luxembourg are more sceptical and less welcoming, just as the population in their countries of origin'. 

Concerning the problems considered as being the most important on a personal level, the price increase (30%), housing (18%) and the educational system (14%) are named the most by Luxembourg residents. Housing having been a problem in Luxembourg since ages, this result is not surprising.

A more negative image of the EU

Equally not surprising is the result concerning Europe's image. Facing the rising criticism against the EU, 45% of Luxembourg residents have a positive opinion of the EU, which constitutes a decrease of 7 points in comparison with the previous 'Standard Eurobarometer' study. The workers and the unemployed are less likely to have a positive view of the EU. With 40%, the young agec between 15 and 24 and persons aged between 25 and 34 are slightly below the national average. 42% of them have a positive image of the EU. At European level figures are alarming: hardly one third of European citizens have a positive opinion of the EU.

Concerning the values that represent the EU, freedom to travel, to study, to work... (63%), the Euro (60%) and cultural diversity (47%) constitute the three values that represent best the EU, followed by peace (46%) and democracy (37%). The values that count the most on a personal basis are peace (54%), the respect for human life (43%) and human rights (41%).

Furthermore, culture (39%), history (35%) and languages (27%) constitute, according to the Luxembourg citizens, the things that contribute the most to building a sense of community in the EU. 'Standard Eurobarometer' was created in 1973. Every survey is made on the basis of more or less 1,000 face-to-face interviews per country. The reports are published twice a year.

(Article written by the editorial team of the portal www.luxembourg.lu; Source: Standard Eurobarometer 84)

  • Updated 10-03-2016