Fri, May 17, 2019 - Page 7 News List

End to EU expected within 20 years: poll

GLOOMY OUTLOOK:A survey conducted in 14 nations by the ECFR found that three in 10 respondents believe conflict among EU members is a realistic possibility

The Guardian, BRUSSELS

With the latest Eurobarometer statistics showing that two-thirds of Europeans have positive feelings toward the EU — the highest recorded since 1983 — ECFR director Mark Leonard said the onus was on pro-European parties to awaken the “silent majority.”

“There are seven days to resolve the paradox at the heart of the European project. Support for EU membership is at the highest level since 1983, and yet a majority of voters fear the EU might collapse. The challenge for pro-Europeans is to use this fear of loss to mobilize their silent majority and ensure that it is not just the anti-system parties who get their say on 26 May,” he said.

“Pro-Europeans need to offer voters bold ideas for change that emotionally resonate and make the silent majority feel it is worth turning out at the end of May. It is not yet too late. With a volatile European electorate, there are up to 97 million voters who could still be persuaded to vote for different parties,” he said.

The survey found that almost 92 percent of voters thought they would lose out if the EU collapsed. Fears about the ability to trade, travel and work in other EU countries topped the list of reasons.

Citizens feared losing unity on security and defense, and valued being part of a bloc that could counter the US and China, amid growing economic uncertainty and the parlous nature of the transatlantic relationship.

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