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Europinion n°1 - April 1995

Results of %C3Continuous Tracking%C3 surveys of the European Union  (January to April 1994)

I. White Paper

The White Paper %C3Growth, Competitiveness, Employment%C3 was released to the press two days before the Brussels European Council of 10-11 December 1993.

Between the 3rd and 13th January 1994 - Monthly Monitor 1 - only 18% of Europeans say they have heard or read something on the White Paper. In April - Monthly Monitor 4 - 25% had become aware of something on the subject .

On EC average, the level of expected positive effects of the White paper fell a little between January (47%) and April (42%). From March to April awareness and expected positive effects grew most in Ireland, (+10 and +11).

It's in France, Italy (51%), Belgium (50%), Greece (48%), the Netherlands (46%) and in Portugal (44%) that expectations, among those expressing an opinion, are greatest.

But the numbers who don't answer this question are high : 50% in Portugal, 45% in Spain, 44% in Denmark, 41% in Ireland. In no country are %C3don't knows%C3 less than 20% .

II. Enlargement

Attitude towards EU enlargement with those EFTA countries seeking membership, is very positive, just as each time the question was asked in the Standard Eurobarometer framework .

In March 1994, the vast majority support membership of Sweden (83%), Austria and Norway (82%), Switzerland (81%) and Finland (80%).

Malta (59%), Cyprus (53%) and Turkey (43%) are less welcome, but with notable differences between national opinions in this respect. 76% of Irish and 72% of British favour Maltese membership. 89% of Greeks and 71% of Irish favour membership of Cyprus.

In April 1994 - Monthly Monitor 4 - %C3after the next accession to the European Commission (European Union) of countries such as Austria, Finland, Norway or Sweden%C3, 64% of Europeans favour membership of Hungary, 61% membership of Poland, 59% membership of the Czech Republic and 57% membership of Slovakia .

East Germans are clearly the most favourable towards the membership of Hungary (81%), of the Czech Republic (76%) and of Slovakia (73%), but are at EC average for Poland (61%).

Luxemburgers are least favourable towards membership of the four countries. The Portuguese are equally unfavourable, but this is due to a very high level of non response. This is also the case for the Greeks and Spanish.

III. The conflict in Ex-Yugoslavia

Between the 1st and the 8th of February 1994 - Monthly Monitor 2 - four out of five European citizens (82%) opposed %C3letting things as they go now%C3 in the conflict between the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims in Bosnia Herzegovina .

However, opinions differ on which measures the European Community, the United Nations and NATO should take in the conflict.

Of the possible measures proposed to the respondents, that of using %C3fight when necessary to get humanitariant convoys through%C3 received the highest support: 75% (90% in France).

Followed by, though not closely:

Asked the same question a second time in March 1994 - Monthly Monitor 3 - European opinions don't change much, except for one option: +9 (46%) think air strikes should be launched.

IV. European Elections

In April 1994 - Monthly Monitor 4 - one in two European citizens confessed that in casting their vote to elect Members of the European Parliament, their opinion about national issues will be more important. 42% said that European problems will be more important for them at the time of their vote .

National differences are large. Those saying they find national issues more important are the Greeks (75%), Spanish (70%), Portuguese (65%), Irish (64%), Italians (59%), Danes (58%) and the British (56%).

Those giving priority to European problems are the Germans (59%), French and Luxemburgers (54%) and the Dutch (48%). In Belgium both are equal (47% : national issues; 46% : European problems).

V. Satisfaction with democracy and support for the European Union

In Autumn 1992, in the framework of the Standard Eurobarometer (EB40), satisfaction with democracy in one's own country, on the level of the Twelve, had fallen sharply below the level of dissatisfaction. Although it is difficult to compare two types of survey, with different sample size and very different methodology, a net recovery of the positive trend can be seen in the monthly surveys from January to April 1994.

In April 1994, 48% of Europeans said they were %C3very satisfied%C3 or %C3somewhat satisfied%C3 with the functioning of democracy in their own country.

Support for the European Union among those who think membership is a good thing hasn't really changed between January (56%) and April (58%) 1994 (Table 8a and Graph 8a-b). The situation among those who think membership is a bad thing is almost identical: 14% in January, 13% in April.

The positive perception of benefits derived from this membership has gone up from 45% up to 51% between the last Standard Eurobarometer (EB40) measure and the January 1994 Monthly Monitor. But it must be remembered that the two types of surveys are not comparable .

Following a slight decrease from February to March in those who think that %C3all things considered, their country has benefitted from membership of the EU%C3 (-3), the level remained stable between March and April (49%) .

It is in the Netherlands (62%, -9) and in Denmark (52%, -8) that perceived benefit has fallen. By contrast, In Great Britain, the increase is +7 (43%).

Last update: 01/02/2012 | Top