About six in 10 people surveyed in France said they “did not trust” Brussels, says the Jacques Delors Institute study. The country’s lack of confidence in the EU has soared to 58% – a dramatic 10-point increase since Emmanuel Macron’s election as president. Only 32% of participants said they could trust the EU, while the remaining 10% did not express any judgment.
On average, only 47% of participants from the whole bloc said they could not trust the EU, compared to 43%.
The study was undertaken in November of last year, but was not made public until today. Chief researcher Thierry Chopin said there was no reason to believe that the management of the EU in the coronavirus pandemic had done much to build support in the bloc.
He said: “There has been a continuous decline since the day after the election of Emmanuel Macron until the” ambivalent “did not become the majority in France. “
The report describes “ambivalent” as Europeans who are neither “supporters” of Brussels nor “eurosceptics” according to them.
He claims that “ambivalents” are pushed towards “Eurosceptism” due to a lack of understanding of the internal workings of the EU.
The media, schools and politicians are blamed because only 48% of “ambivalents” know how the EU works and 64% consider Brussels institutions to be too “distant”.
Chopin added: “We have already seen it with the euro and the migrants.
“If in exceptional circumstances, such as the COVID-19 crisis, the European leaders do not show unfailing unity and solidarity, then the ambivalents will be more and more tempted by national withdrawal, convinced that the national state is the only one able to protect them. “
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But the country has more supporters than France, 34% of those questioned having confidence in the bloc.
Charles-Henri Gallois, economic spokesman for the Eurosceptic Union Populaire Reublicaine party, said: “The French face the COVID-19 crisis are even more aware of the uselessness of the EU.
“We voted in 2005 against the European Constitution. We are at a turning point: we know that the current EU is bad. However, they still think we can change it.
“When they know you can’t change it, Frexit will win. I hope that will soon be the case.