EU citizens feel left out, study shows

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Series Details Vol.7, No.30, 26.7.01, p8
Publication Date 26/07/2001
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Date: 26/07/01

By John Shelley

ACCORDING to a new Eurobarometer poll, 64% of the public believe enlargement is important to unify the continent. But 78% feel they are poorly informed about the subject, while 85% feel they are not sufficiently involved in the argument. Some 57% feel they are not involved at all. The survey also reveals differences of view over which countries should be encouraged to join the bloc. Turkey's accession is opposed by 25%, while 21% support early membership for Norway and Switzerland, neither of which currently wants to join the EU. The candidate states fare less well: only 18% want Poland to be a member soon, 16% want Hungary and 12% the Czech Republic to join. Some 16% of those polled are against enlargement. The study also shows ignorance about the Union institutions' reforms taking place: 41% of citizens have not seen or heard of the Nice Treaty. But 44% think it would be interesting to be involved in the future of Europe debate.

The subjects people said were crucial for the EU to address included unemployment, citizens' rights and food safety.

Report of the latest Eurobarometer opinion poll.

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