Representation in Ireland

Irish people still most likely to have a positive image of the EU: new Eurobarometer survey


EU and Irish flags

The first results of the Autumn 2018 Eurobarometer survey shows that Irish people continue to be the most likely to have a positive image of the EU at 64% (unchanged since the last two surveys in spring 2018 and autumn 2017).  Across the EU, the share of respondents who have a positive image has risen in 17 member states since the spring 2018 survey, including the UK where it is up 9 percentage points to 43%.  This is the same as the EU average, which is up 3 points since the spring.

Meanwhile the share of Irish people (8%) with a negative image of the EU is the second lowest in the EU after Lithuania at 6%. The EU average is 20%.


The survey also shows that:

  • 74% (down 5 percentage points since the previous survey) of Irish people think the situation of the national economy is good, while 23% think it is bad (up 4 percentage points). This is the 8th highest share in the EU where on average 49% of people thought the situation of their national economy was good (unchanged since the previous survey). People in Malta (95%) were the most likely to think the situation of their national economy was good whilst those in Greece were the least likely (6%).
  • 67% of Irish people think the situation of the European economy is good, 4th highest in the EU after Lithuania (73%), Austria (70%) and Poland (70%). The EU average was 49% dropping to 26% in France.
  • Support for the Euro was fourth highest in Ireland at 84% (unchanged since the previous survey), after Slovenia (86%), Luxembourg and Estonia (both 85%). The EU average was 62%, lowest in Czechia (21%) and the UK (28%).
  • Irish respondents (85%, unchanged) are the third most likely to feel they are EU citizens after Luxembourg (89%) and Germany (86%). The EU average was 71% dropping to 51% in Bulgaria and 52% in Greece.
  • When asked what are the three most important issues facing the EU at the moment, Irish people selected immigration (32%), terrorism and climate change (both 27%). On average across the EU, the top three issues selected were: immigration (40%), terrorism (20%) and the state of Member States’ public finances (19%).
  • The top three national concerns for Irish people were: housing (60%, highest in the EU), health and social security (40%) and the cost of living (20%). The top national concerns at EU level were: unemployment (23%), cost of living and immigration (both 21%).
  • Trust in the EU continues to be above average in Ireland at 50% (down 4 percentage points since the previous survey). The EU average was 42% ranging from 65% in Lithuania to 26% in Greece.

The “Autumn 2018 Standard Eurobarometer” (EB 90) was conducted through face-to-face interviews between 8 and 22 November 2018. In Ireland, 1004 people were interviewed for the survey by Behaviour & Attitudes.

Download the survey here