Opinion: Europeans are increasingly opening the door for EU exit


June 23rd, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Sputnik Italia – – translated by Frederick Assar –

Most Europeans think that soon several countries will leave the European Union, Alexander Scshpunt on radio broadcast Sputnik said, adding that there are three major factors influencing the views of Europeans.

According to the data survey conducted by the French company Ifop for “Sputnik Opinions”, most European citizens believe that there may be changes in the composition of the European Union in the short term. In the survey, British, French, German, and Italian citizens said they were confident that after United Kingdom’s departure from Europe at least another country would follow.

This opinion is shared by nearly two-thirds of the British (64%), more than half of the Germans (52%) and the Italians (57%), and even 49% of the French. A substantial part of the respondents believe that BREXIT will set the example for many countries: 55% of Britons, 50% of Italians, 42% of French and 39% of Germans.

According to the results of the survey, young people – those younger than 35 – are the ones who consider more likely a split between the EU and a number of European countries. This was registered in Germany, France and Italy. 

The respondents who think that the EU won’t “lose” any other country are the minority: one third of the French (33%) and the Italians (32%), 39% of the Germans and only 18% of the British.

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The survey was conducted from 21 to 25 April 2017. 3203 citizens from 18 years of age have participated in it. The statistical error is 3.1%.

The director of the Institute of Instruments of Political Analysis, professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Aleksandr Shchpunt, believes there are three major factors influencing EU opinions.

“Every European country thinks that another member wants to leave the Union, the Germans think so of the Dutch, and the French of the Belgians, there are several phobias in Europe that exist between the various members and even among the various nations. Europe is everything but united: it is united as a political entity, but national narratives and identities haven’t been deleted. This is the first factor. The second factor is BREXIT. Indeed, this event has pushed citizens to open wide the “door” for the exit from the EU since BREXIT made this scenario realistic,” said Aleksandr Shchpunt on radio broadcast Sputnik.

According to him, in many European countries, the first phenomena that may in the future lead to the abandonment of the EU is already beginning to emerge.

“The third factor is the existence of situations that would confirm that, in the coming years, processes in countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium and perhaps Hungary could lead to their exit from the European Union. The main causes for this are demographic changes. In Belgium there is a strong awareness of the terrorist threat, from which they cannot defend themselves independently. In the Netherlands there is the traditional disagreement about giving others the right to decide for their own country. Hungary is trying to defend itself from the influx of immigrants.

In June 2016, almost 52% of the British voted in favour of leaving the European Union. At the end of March, London announced the launch of the BREXIT procedure. It is expected that the country will leave the Union in 2019.

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