Representation in Ireland

New opinion poll finds that Ireland has a very positive attitude towards Europe


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European Commission Representation in Ireland issued today the latest annual Eurobarometer report for Ireland.

Compared to other EU Member States, the report finds that Irish people have the most positive image of the EU (64%); are the most satisfied with how democracy works in the EU (75%); and are the most optimistic about the EU's future (86%).


Commenting on the report, Gerry Kiely, Head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland said: "Today's report captures Ireland's strong support for the European Union. This is fully reciprocated, as is evident from the European Union's unwavering support for Irish interests in the Brexit negotiations. With the European Parliament elections looming in May, I hope that Irish support for the European Union will translate into a very healthy voter turnout. Young people in Ireland have a poor record in voting in the European elections. Everyone should have a say on who will influence their future by getting out and voting."

Findings in the report include:

  • 66% of Irish people say they feel attached to the EU, the highest proportion since May 2007. Attachment to the EU has increased by 24-points since 2013. However, attachment can be seen as relatively soft, with most people saying they feel ‘fairly attached’ rather than ‘very attached.’
  • Only 8% per cent of Irish people declare having a negative image of the EU. 64% of Irish people have a positive image of the EU, the highest figure for any Member State and well above the EU average of 43%. 64% is the highest level of positivity recorded in Ireland since 2008.
  • As of November 2018, 85% of Irish citizens report feeling some semblance of EU citizenship. While a sense of EU citizenship among Irish people is not new, it has increased by 18-points over the past five years. Ireland now ranks third among Member States, just behind Luxembourg (89 %) and Germany (86 %), and above the EU average on this metric, which currently stands at 71 %.
  • Irish people are the most satisfied with how democracy works in the EU, with 75% expressing satisfaction. This is substantially above the EU average of 50%.
  • At 76 %, Ireland has the highest proportion of people in any Member State feeling that their interests are well taken account of in the EU. This is an increase of 17-points in the past two years and coincides with the negotiations between the EU and the British government on Brexit. This score represents the highest proportion of Irish citizens feeling this way since this data was first collected in 2007.
  • 50% of Irish citizens profess to have trust in the EU, above the EU average of 42%. Distrust of the EU stands at 38%.
  • Ireland is the most optimistic EU country about the future of the EU. 86% of Irish people say they are optimistic, the highest number of people saying this ever. Moreover, optimism has been steadily growing in recent years, with a 32-point increase since 2013. The EU average is 58%
  • 7 in 10 Irish people (70%) disagree with the notion that Ireland could best face the future outside of the EU. Only one in four (25%) believe that Ireland would do better outside the EU.

Further information

The Irish national report is available here.

The Standard Eurobarometer 90 report plus country factsheets and annexes is available here.