Current Affairs

Citizens say no to bigger EU

PinkNews Staff Writer June 21, 2007
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You won’t be able to spend your Euros while traveling in any new European countries any time soon if the citizens of some of the EU’s most populous and most powerful member countries have their way.

While the European Union (EU) has continued to expand over the years, Two-thirds of adults in France (67%) and over half of German adults (55%) believe the EU should not continue to take in new members.

Just under half (47%) of British adults as well as 40 percent of Spanish adults also feel there should not be any more new members in the EU.

Conversely, Italy is the only European country to feel differently with just under half of Italians (48%) saying the EU should continue to take on new member countries while 41 percent say the EU should not.

Meanwhile, across the pond, 49% of U.S. adults are not sure and 46 percent say the EU should continue to take on new members.

These are some of the results of a Financial Times/Harris Poll which was conducted online by Harris Interactive among a total of 6,169 adults (aged 16 and over), within France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and the United States, and 1,090 adults (aged 18 and over) in Italy between May 31 and June 12, 2007.

Human rights have proved problematic for some of the new EU states. In Poland the right-wing government contstantly attack gay rights and in other countries LGBT people face considerably prejudice.

One country that has been discussed as a potential European Union new member is Turkey.

When asked if Turkey should be invited to join the EU, majorities of French (71%), German (66%) and Italian (55%) adults all say no, as do 46 percent of both British and Spanish adults.

British and Spanish adults are also more likely to say they are not sure (31% and 28%, respectively) than the other European countries.

Of those who say they are either not sure or opposed to Turkey being invited to join who, almost two in five Germans (38%) and just over one- third of Spanish adults (36%) would say yes to Turkey joining if the country was to implement reforms desired by some EU member states.

One-third (32%) of Italians and 21 percent of both British and French adults would also say yes to Turkey joining.

One reform that has been discussed for the European Union is whether there should be a permanent president.

Spain and Germany are the only two countries where adults believe this should happen (54% and 48% respectively).

France is a little more divided as 44 percent do not think there should be a permanent president and 38 percent believe there should be one.

In Great Britain and Italy, however, majorities are against this idea. Almost six in ten Italians (59%) and 52 percent of British adults believe there should not be a permanent president of the EU.

One thing’s for sure though–if there was a permanent president, however, don’t look to Tony Blair to fill the role.

Majorities in Germany (64%), Great Britain (60%), Spain (56%) and France (53%) as well as 46 percent of Italians all say that Tony Blair would not make a good full-time president of the European Union.

While 40 percent of US adults are not sure, they are Tony Blair’s strongest supporters as two in five (40%) do say that he would make a good full-time president.

© 2007; All Rights Reserved.

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