Warsaw, Poland – Don’t let yourself be misled by the recurrent headlines and constant bickering between Warsaw and Brussels: the Polish population is among the most pro-European nations in the bloc today.
According to a survey, conducted by the Pew Research Centre in ten different EU countries, Poland is the country with the most positive attitude towards the European Union: 72% of Polish respondents have a favorable view of the EU, compared to 21% who see the bloc unfavorably. This is nearly ten points higher than Germans, Dutch (63% of positive views), French and Swedes (62%).
Greece (62% of negative opinions) and Britons (45% of negative views towards the EU) stand out as the two most Eurosceptic nations.
Albeit lower than support for the EU as a whole, Poland also has the highest approval rate for individual EU institutions: a majority of respondents holds favorable views of the European Parliament (54%) and the European Commission (52%).
Poland shows the highest rate of satisfaction for how the EU is dealing with European economic issues (58%). However, only a minority of them approve of how Brussels deals with Brexit (45% of approval) and the refugee issue (only 23% of approval, but still higher than most other surveyed countries).
According to the same study, Poland has the biggest difference (30 percentage points) between those with left-wing (92% of favorable views of the EU) and right-wing views (62%). The ideological gap appears also particularly high in Germany (26 points) and the UK (25 points). In almost all the countries surveyed, people on the left have a more positive views of Europe, except in Sweden and France (where centrist voters are the most pro-EU) as well as Greece and Spain (where left-wing people are the most Eurosceptic).
Poles also hold the most positive views of the evolution of their financial situation in the last two decades, with 68% of respondents who declare it got better and only 17% considering it worsened. Quite logically, they’re also the most optimistic nation in Europe regarding the next generation’s financial prospects: 59% believe the next generation will be better off than their parents – compared to 80% of French and 70% of Brits who believe the new generation will be worse off.
Interestingly, Poles were the most likely to associate the EU with promoting prosperity (70%) – and the only country with the Netherlands where more people cited prosperity as a positive trait of the EU rather than promoting democratic values. On the negative traits of the EU, Poles were the least likely to think the EU is inefficient and does not understand the needs of its citizens, two widespread downsides identified in others countries. But they were the most prone – after Greece – to consider the EU as intrusive.
The Pew survey confirms the findings of previous studies that identified Poland as one of the most pro-European nations in the EU contrary, for instance, to its Czech neighbor, one of the most Eurosceptic nations in the bloc.