A new Financial Times/Harris Poll shows that except in Spain, majorities or pluralities of adults in the five largest European countries believe that life in their country has become worse since it became part of the European Union. Spanish adults are the most positive about the effect that joining the EU has had on their country, with more than half (53 percent) stating that life has gotten better. In the other countries substantial proportions in (Britain 52 percent, France 50 percent, Italy 47 percent, and Germany 44 percent) feel that life in their country has gotten worse since their countries joined the EU.
But only in Great Britain is there a plurality of adults who think that life would be better if they left the EU. A majority in Spain and pluralities in France, Italy and Germany think that life would be worse.
Notably, majorities in most of the five EU countries and pluralities would like to see EU be more, rather than less active. Areas where largest proportions from five EU countries would like to see EU doing more are the environment, energy, and crime and security.
Yet few people, except perhaps the 31 percent in Italy, think that EU regulations have had a positive impact on business in their countries. In all five EU countries except for France, pluralities believe they have had a negative impact.
And America continues to be wildly unpopular in Europe. Only in Italy does a plurality not think that the US is the greatest threat to global stability.