Slovenians still optimistic about EU, survey shows

Brussels – Slovenians’ positive attitude towards the EU remains above the EU average in a survey presented by the European Parliament on Friday. The share of respondents in all members with a positive opinion about the bloc has increased by 10 percentage points to 50%, while in Slovenia the figure was at 58% in autumn, when the survey was conducted.

The survey suggests that 76% of Slovenians believe the EU’s recovery plan will allow the country to recover more quickly, with the EU average at 72%.

Moreover, 60% of respondents from Slovenia said things in general were going in the right direction following the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, whereas the EU average was at 39%.

But on the other hand, Slovenians are also above-average pessimistic about the pandemic. 65% of Slovenian respondents said they were pessimistic, while the EU average was at 53%.

However, it seems that all Europeans are not too pleased with the situation in their own country, as only 33% on average believe things are going good. In Slovenia, only 21% of respondents believe that things are going in the right direction, while 79% believe the opposite.

More than a half of respondents from all member states believe their living conditions will still be the same in a year’s time, a quarter believe things will get worse and 20% believe it will be better.

In Slovenia, 35% expressed belief that their living conditions will grow poorer, 44% believe they will remain the same and 21% believe they will get better.

Moreover, Slovenia, alongside Malta, came second only to Ireland in its optimism about the future of the EU, as 78% of the Slovenian respondents expressed this notion. The EU average was 66%.

The survey also touched on the work of the European Parliament, with 48% of respondents across the EU saying it should focus on fighting poverty and inequality. Terrorism and crime came second, followed by education and environmental protection.

In Slovenia, 63% said the European Parliament should focus on poverty and inequality, followed by terrorism and crime and environment in place three.

Slovenians also seem to be significantly less happy than the rest of the EU when it comes to democracy. Only 32% of Slovenian respondents, the lowest share in the bloc, are happy with democracy in the EU, significantly fewer than the 88% in Denmark, The EU average is 55%, while dissatisfaction was expressed by an average of 40% of respondents.

Asked about basic values the European Parliament should protect, 61% of respondents from Slovenia said solidarity among member states, whereas the survey at EU level placed human rights around the world first, followed by gender equality, while member states solidarity came third.

Slovenia had one of the highest shares of respondents, 78%, saying the European Parliament should play a more important role, the EU average being 63%, which was five percentage points more than a year earlier.

The survey was commissioned by the European Parliament and carried out by Kantar between 20 November and 21 December 2020. It included more than 27,200 respondents over the age of 15 from the 27 member states.