Spaniards, the most loyal to EU

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Spaniards, the most loyal to EU

EU flag in front of Real Casa de Correos in Puerta del Sol, Madrid, on the occasion of Europe Day. Photo: EFE/D. Sinova. (EFE)
EU flag in front of Real Casa de Correos in Puerta del Sol, Madrid, on the occasion of Europe Day. Photo: EFE/D. Sinova. (EFE)

According to the latest Eurobarometer released by the European Parliament, two years ahead of the 2019 European elections, more than 80% Spanish nationals would like to see stronger intervention by the European Union (EU) in the face of the big challenges of today’s world, such as the fight against terrorism, tax fraud or the fight against unemployment.

To the question whether the EU should intervene less than at present or more than at present in 15 specific areas (including environmental protection, economic policy, health and social security, and the issue of migration, among others), the percentage of Spaniards who wanted stronger intervention where higher than the average for the 28 member countries in all cases.

More specifically, Spanish citizens seem to think that the EU should take broader, more coordinated action in the areas of unemployment (93%), tax fraud (92%), the fight against terrorism (88%) and health (88%).

The Barometer also shows that 62% Spaniards are positive about EU membership. This means they consider integration a good thing to a greater extent than citizens in other EU countries – 5% more than the average for all 28 member countries and 7% more than in the past Eurobarometer of November 2016.

Stronger integration

The interest in European affairs also rose among Spaniards since the past Eurobarometer, although 53% respondents still said they were not interested. As to their voices in the EU, 51% thought the voice of their country counted.

A broad majority (75%) seem to think that EU member countries should act jointly rather than individually when facing global challenges like the growing instability in the Arab-Muslim world, the increasing power and influence of China or Russia, the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States or Brexit.

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani (Italy) believes the findings of the Eurobarometer to be, ‘for the first time since the start of the crisis in 2007, very encouraging.’ ‘They show that European citizens expect the Union to respond with a single voice to their very acute fears about recent international upheavals that have made the world more uncertain and dangerous,’ the Italian politician added.