Portfolio blogger

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A new survey report from Gallup shows some interesting figures for Hungary. The general trend is not at all surprising: The appreciation of EU leadership is at record low. "Although it suffered double-digit losses in support in countries such as Cyprus and Spain (the latter of which exited the bailout program at the end of 2013), low approval of the EU's leadership was not limited to bailout countries. Fewer than one in three approved of the EU's leadership in the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, and Sweden.". The trend from 2012 to 2013 is increasing a little in Portugal and Italy and, surprise: in Hungary where (like in Italy) it almost reached the level of 2010. This is not a big feat, but remarkable and countering the general trend. We will see, whether this is just a fluctuation, or a real turn of the tide. In fact. change between 2008 and 2013 has been positive in 8 countries, only 3 of them new member states (which joined in 2004, Bulgaria and Romania and 4 countries joining in 2004 were not measured in 2008). The trend from 2012 to 2013 is in fact more encouraging but not compensating for the loss during the crisis in most countries. "Europeans between the ages of 15 and 30 are and have been, on average, the most likely to support the EU's leadership. In 2011, a majority of young people in only a handful of countries disapproved of the EU's leadership. In 2013, the youngest generation continued to be the most likely to approve of EU leadership compared with the older age groups. In 14 EU countries, a majority of this youngest group approved of EU leadership." The trend, however, is not encouraging, recent developments have influenced young people negatively. For Hungary, it is remarkable that there was an increase in approval from 2011 to 2012 but a slight decrease to 2013. 33 % approval in 2010, which increased to 45 for 2012 but fell to 41 in 2013. In twelve countries has the appreciation improved among young people from 2012 to 2013. Cypriot, Italian, Spanish and Finnish youth got the most disappointed from 2012 to 2013, while young people in Ireland, France, Finland, Spain and Italy experienced the biggest disappointment from 2008 to 2013. Only Finland and Spain are in both groups - an odd couple, isn't it? The two countries with the most of EU institutions score relatively well: Belgium shows a positive change on all four counts (from 2008 to 2013 and 2012 to 2013 among the total population and young people also) while Luxembourg has a high rating but youth data from 2008 and 2012 are missing and the rest of the trend is negative, and an improvement can only be seen in the total population from 2012 to 2013.