Germans have never been more pro-European!

A study by the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation proves the assumed EU scepticism wrong

, by Niklas Kramer, translated by Lina Ohltmann

All the versions of this article: [Deutsch] [English]

Germans have never been more pro-European!

A representative study conducted by the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation on views of European unification is surprisingly positive: Despite the crisis in Greece and BILD-agitation, the Germans have never been this positive on the EU. JEF has been part of this process.

There was much talk about the new German nationalism this year. Old resentments reoccurred fast due to the crisis in Greece. The Germans would turn away from Europe, many national and international journalists analysed quickly. A study from the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation, published last Tuesday, draws a different picture.

Public opinion: The EU has more advantages than disadvantages

There has never been such a broad approval to German membership in the EU: 48% said, the EU would bring more advantages than disadvantages. 1999, this number was only at 27%. A whole 71% of Germans agreed that overall the EU is a good thing. That is a duplication since the 1990s. Asked on the topic of German interests, pro-Europeans can see a positive result. Though 59% said that Germany should work on German interests primarily, 30% said that the government should put national interests aside at times.

Dr. Viola Neu, coordinator of the study, concludes: “The data of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation shows a slow but consistent mood swing: The EU has become self-evident over the years for many Germans. Generally, the membership of Germany in the EU, is welcomed. At the same time, German national interests in EU politics loose importance. Further, interest in the happenings in the European neighbourhood increases (…)”

Incentive for JEF

The Young European Federalists have played a part in this: Relentless, they show in street actions, seminars and discussions that the EU is not a technocratic monster of which one must be afraid. Instead JEF shows that it worth time and fun to explain Europe. In future, JEF has to work more. Exaggerated phobias and flawed understanding will continue to exist. The study, however, provides hope and confidence.

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