This compares to 24% of Irish (+1 pp) and 26% of European respondents (-2pp) who say they have a negative image of the EU.
There is also growing optimism with regards to (1) the economic outlook in Europe and (2) towards Europe's future.
Europeans in 20 out of 28 Member States say they expect the economic situation in their home country to improve in the coming twelve months. In Ireland, 37% of respondents (+9 pp) expect the economic situation of Ireland to improve over the next 12 months while 19% (-8 pp) expect it to deteriorate. This compares to an EU average of 24% of respondents expecting an improvement and 25% expecting a deterioration.
1. Perception of the economic outlook in Europe is improving:
There has been a 5 pp rise in the number of EU citizens and an 8 pp rise in the number of Irish citizens who think the economic situation in their home country will be better or the same in the coming twelve months, which is matched by a sharp decline in the pessimism (-8 pp for Ireland) regarding economic expectations.
Moreover, when asked whether the impact of the crisis on jobs has already reached its peak, 44% of EU respondents (up 4 pp) and 56% of Irish respondents (unchanged since the Autumn 2013 survey) agree. Challenges remain, however: Nearly half of Europeans (49%) and over half of Irish respondents (59%) believe that unemployment is the most important issue their country is facing at the moment.
2. Trust in the EU on the rise as more people feel their voice counts
Trust towards the EU is on the rise (32%, +1pp) and continues to be above trust towards national parliaments (27%, -2pp) and the national government (26%, +3 pp).
This situation is similar in Ireland where 34% of respondents trust the EU (unchanged), 20% (+ 2 pp) trust the national parliament and 23% (+ 6pp) trust the Irish government.
At the same time over half of Europeans (53%) and 65% of Irish respondents say that they are positive about the future of the EU.
These findings suggest that the considerable efforts by the Commission to reach out to citizens are paying off. It has for example organised 51 Citizens' Dialogues across Europe and sought to make the upcoming European Parliament elections even more relevant to citizens by recommending political parties to nominate lead candidates (see IP/14/321). The Eurobarometer published today shows that more people believe that their voice counts in the EU: 37% compared to 29% in autumn 2013. There was also a rise of 3 pp in the number of Irish respondents who believe their voice counts in the EU to 35%.
The Special Eurobarometer published today is based on a representative sample of people from all 28 Member States of the European Union. In total almost 28.000 citizens (including 1,005 in Ireland) aged 15 and older were interviewed between 15 and 24 March 2014. Further information The Special Eurobarometer survey 415 published today outlines Europeans' perception of the current economic situation in the European Union, their main concerns and trust in political institutions. It is the only European-wide survey.
Full Press Release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-543_en.htm
The results, as well as national factsheets (in English), are available at: http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/eb_special_419_400_en.htm#415