Opinions divided on yet another EU enlargement

The opinions of Europeans on yet another EU enlargement are divided. 46% of EU citizens are in favour of further enlargement and 42% against. The Germans, French and the Brits have very serious reservations, whereas Poles, Slovenians and Greeks are in favour of further countries being admitted to the European Union. These are the findings of a recent Eurobarometer survey conducted by TNS Infratest among almost 30.000 EU citizens on behalf of the EU Commission.

The citizens of the ten new member states see another enlargement much more positive than the original EU15 countries (72% as against 41%). Since spring 2006 public opinion has markedly changed in some member states. Most supportive are the Poles (76%, +4%), followed by Slovenians (74%, +1%). Next come Greece (71%, +15%) and Slovakia (69%, +11%). Support has strongly diminished in Great Britain and Spain (36%, -8% and 51%, -4% respectively). Less supportive are the Germans (30%, +2%). The Austrians (31%, +4%), people from Luxembourg (32%, +5%) and the French (34%, +3%) have strong reservations against further enlargement too.

According to Infratest the results show that there is an obvious enlargement fatigue on the part of the old EU15 member states, in particular on the part of Germany, France and Great Britain. These countries, although supporting the political project of the EU, are worried about the economic consequences of further enlargement. GERMAN