EU Enthusiasm Study

According to a new study released today by the commission, the EU’s image amongst its citizens is deteriorating and confidence in EU institutions is decreasing:

The EU’s image is worst amongst British (28%), Finnish (30%) and Austrian (30%) citizens but best amongst the Irish (68%), Italians (63%) and Luxembourgers (58%).

Support for the thorny issue of further enlargement lies at 50% in the EU – a slight decrease since 2004 (53%) – but the figures show a large discrepancy between old and new member states.

Forty-eight percent of EU citizens from old member states support Croatia’s membership of the bloc with the number reaching 72% amongst the new member states.

Croatia is followed by acceding countries Bulgaria (46% support among old member states and 70% amongst the ten new members) and Romania (43%, and 58% respectively).

Turkey has gathered the least support particularly amongst the old member states (32%) and picking up 48% support from new member state citizens.

Far Less Migrants Left EU 10 Than Anticipated

According to the German research institute DIW, the number of migrants from the EU 10 accession countries was far less than many anticipated.

According to the Berlin-based Deutsches Institut for Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW), the number of people who have migrated from the new member states to the older members can be estimated at 150,000. Of them, over 50,000 arrived in the UK.

The DIW figures are lower than other estimates, including that of the UK government, which claims to have received some 130,000 work permit applications over the past 12 months. DIW explains the discrepancy with methodological differences.

In DIW’s opinion, those EU-15 states that have applied stringent immigration policies to prospective workers from the new member states could be missing out on an influx of much-needed qualified professionals.