Remaining support for the increasingly powerful but highly controversial European Union is crumbling amid the ongoing economic crisis, an influential survey released this week revealed. Of course, the EU was never very popular, as even establishment media outlets now admit, but trust in the sovereignty-stealing scheme is now imploding at a record pace. According to the Pew Global poll, ever-greater problems with the single euro currency and the economy appear to be among the primary factors driving the growing Europe-wide hostility against the Brussels-based regime.
Favorable views of the super state plunged in seven out of eight countries surveyed, with the median dropping by 15 percent over the past year. Meanwhile, the number of Europeans with a positive attitude reached record lows in most nations. France saw the most dramatic implosion of support, dropping by nearly 20 percent — 60 percent of the population held a favorable opinion of the EU last year, compared to around 40 percent in 2013.
Despite massive and costly tax-funded propaganda campaigns to drum up support for the increasingly unpopular EU, Europeans also lost confidence in the controversial regime’s economic “integration” policies. Respondents from all eight countries surveyed for the project — Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Poland, and the Czech Republic — were less likely to believe that the EU strengthened their economy.
“The European Union is the new sick man of Europe,” noted the authors of the Pew Research survey, released on May 13 and promptly sending shock waves across the region. “The effort over the past half century to create a more united Europe is now the principal casualty of the euro crisis. The European project now stands in disrepute across much of Europe.”
In five of the eight countries surveyed, a “clear majority” also believe that the best way to solve the economic crisis is to cut government spending rather than spend more money. The EU, by contrast, sparked outrage across the region last year after it proposed massive increases in its already-bloated seven-year budget plan. Even national governments spoke out against the wild scheme.
Perhaps the most devastating results for anti-sovereignty extremists in Brussels came from France. According to the poll, 77 percent believe the EU’s “economic integration” agenda has made matters worse for the French, up 14 points from last year. Almost 60 percent have a negative view of the EU as an institution, too, a surge of 18 percent over 2012.
Nationally, meanwhile, more than two thirds of respondents in France said new Socialist French President Francois Hollande — a radical proponent of an allegedly inevitable “unified Europe” — had done a “bad” job handling the crisis. Only 43 percent of respondents last year thought the same about Hollande’s predecessor, former President Nicolas Sarkozy — a difference of almost 25 percent.
Outside of Germany, other national leaders faced similarly massive plunges in public support compared to last year. In Italy, for example, just one fourth of respondents thought their EU-installed prime minister had done a good job dealing with the crisis. Only 22 percent of Greeks, 20 percent of Czechs, 27 percent of Spaniards, 37 percent of Britons, and 26 percent of Poles thought their political leaders had done a good job.
Unsurprisingly, the economic mood has also soured significantly across most of Europe. In Greece, one percent of respondents thought the economy was doing well. Less than five percent of the populations of both Italy and Spain thought economic conditions were good, compared to nine percent in France and 15 percent in Britain. In Germany, which has performed fairly well throughout the crisis, three fourths believed the economy was good, followed by Poland at 27 percent and the Czech Republic at 20.
“The prolonged economic crisis has created centrifugal forces that are pulling European public opinion apart, separating the French from the Germans and the Germans from everyone else,” Pew noted in its analysis of the poll results. “The southern nations of Spain, Italy and Greece are becoming ever more estranged as evidenced by their frustration with Brussels, Berlin and the perceived unfairness of the economic system.”
News of crumbling support for the EU follows on the heels of incendiary statements made last week by former Maoist revolutionary and current European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, who declared that a federal Europe ruled from Brussels would be a “reality within a few years.” The speech sparked furious criticism from Europeans and renewed calls in Britain and other countries to withdraw from the increasingly power-hungry EU.
"Further economic integration would transcend the limits of the intergovernmental method of running the EU and the eurozone in particular," Barroso alleged during the speech. “We must remember that the present configuration of the euro area is only temporary, since all member states but two [the U.K. and Denmark have opt-outs] are destined to become full members of the Economic and Monetary Union under the treaties.”
Incredibly, after the latest survey results, pro-EU apparatchiks tried to claim that the rapidly fading support for the emerging super-state could be remedied by giving Brussels even more power. “The limits of the European Union institutional architecture are perceived more directly by the citizens now,” claimed Italian “Minister for European Affairs” Enzo Moavero Milanesi in an interview with the New York Times. “The E.U. has made great steps toward further integration and a strengthened monetary union. We even started discussing forms of possible political union, but people are still disappointed.”
In the U.K., meanwhile, establishment political parties on both the left and “right” are in a panic after the liberty-minded United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) recently surged to prominence at the polls. The upstart UKIP, which supports free markets, national sovereignty, secession from the European Union, and stricter limits on immigration, went from being widely ridiculed as a “fringe” movement even last year to becoming one of the top three parties in the U.K. today.
The party’s support has come from voters who previously identified with all of the major parties — the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, and Labor. Led by firebrand MEP Nigel Farage, whose speeches lambasting the EU, communism, fascism, and the out-of-control British government have earned him respect worldwide, the UKIP earned more than 25 percent of the vote on average in recent local elections where it fielded a candidate.
The massive gains for the party, largely attributed to its dedication to restoring British sovereignty by leaving the EU, have already led to big changes. Conservative Party Prime Minister David Cameron, for example, agreed to move up the date of an in-out referendum on the EU from 2017. Analysts say this is just the start as Britons increasingly demand a say on whether or not to be ruled from Brussels, today the source of about 80 percent of laws governing Britain.
Despite the increasingly hostile attitude toward the EU displayed by Europeans, analysts warn that the forces bent on smashing national sovereignty do not intend to give up easily. Indeed, as The New American has been correctly reporting for decades, the ultimate goal of the scheme has always been to create a federal regime governing all of Europe. EU leaders now openly boast about the plan, claiming it is inevitable.
Eventually, the United States is expected to join the alliance through “free trade” agreements, and Obama has already set the process in motion after announcing the “Transatlantic Partnership” during his latest State of the Union address. If public opinion gets in the way of the establishment’s grand designs, as EU leaders have demonstrated repeatedly, citizens will simply be ignored or bullied into compliance. EU critics say a massive outcry is needed now.
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is currently based in Europe. He can be reached at
Federal Europe Coming Soon, EU Boss Says