Only 40 per cent gave it a vote of confidence, against 48 per cent who did not, the European Commission study showed. Yet the 40 per cent figure was still heralded by the EU Barometer, a poll of all 28 member states, as its highest approval rating since 2010. The two-yearly surveys also found that most EU citizens want to stop any further expansion, flying in the face of the bloc leader’s dream.
In his state of the union address this year, EC president Jean-Claude Juncker declared: “There can therefore be not a moment’s respite in our efforts to build a more united Europe.”
Trust in the EU was highest in Lithuania (65 per cent), Denmark (60 per cent) and Sweden (59 per cent).
At the other end of the scale, only 36 per cent of Italians trust Brussels, while in France, where President Emmanuel Macron admitted last year that most would choose to quit the EU, it was just one in three (33 per cent).
The lowest scores are seen in the Czech Republic (32 per cent), the UK (31 per cent) and Greece (26 per cent). But the number one concern of EU citizens remained migration.
While most agree with EU priorities such as freedom of movement and a common defence and security policy, citizens reject further expansion of the union.
The report said: “Further enlargement of the EU to include other countries in future years is the single policy that only enjoys minority support.”
Unsurprisingly therefore, migration was cited as the top concern by 40 per cent of respondents and 26 EU states.
While 23 countries agreed their economies were good, down by two in the last six months, five western states – including Italy, France and Spain – disagreed.
Excluding Britain, which is leaving the EU, France, Italy and Spain are among the five wealthiest EU members.
Terrorism was the number two concern, followed by the state of public finances.
In more bad news for Eurocrats, only half of those who responded (49 per cent) said they felt their voice “counted” in Brussels – the highest figure since 2004 – while 47 per cent said it did not.