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Overwhelming Majority Of EU Citizens Demands Stricter Control Of External EU Borders, Survey By Hungarian Think Tank Finds

By Tamás Székely // 2017.06.30.

The majority of Europeans want more effective protections of the bloc’s external borders, according to a survey of citizens in 28 European Union member states by the Századvég Foundation.


Fully 79% believed that the EU should be doing a better job of protecting the external border, Századvég said, adding that the same opinion was represented by 80-90% of centrists in Germany. Whereas the decisive majority expressed a desire to remain in the bloc, most also believe Brussels has mishandled the most serious crises to have faced the EU over the past few years, the Hungarian think-tank found.

Commentary accompanying the findings published in political weekly Figyelő said that EU citizens want a different kind of cooperation to that promoted by the Brussels political establishment. Asked about income disparities both within member states and along the north-south fault line, 88% said such divisions were problematic, and over half said they were extremely so. Only 24 % of respondents expected the economic environment in Europe to improve while half regarded the efforts to improve the economy as expressly lacking.

On terrorism, half of Europeans think that efforts made by the community were inadequate while 38 % considered Brussels to be doing a good job in this area. The camp of those who would hand over less power to Brussels has grown on the back of dissatisfaction with its handling of economic and migration crises, the think-tank said. Just 36 % see the solution to various problems in closer integration. Half of respondents said that if the EU was incapable of solving problems, then member states should have greater carte blanche to do so.

Századvég said it had surveyed 1,000 people in each of Europe’s 28 member states between April 10 and May 31.

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