Dissatisfaction grows – to be in the EU, or not to be?

Germans are still one of the most EU-content nations in the union, while on the other side of the Rhine the French are getting more and more dissatisfied, shows a recent survey. In Finland the majority find the EU alright, but how do the anti-EU Finns reason their opinion and desire to part from the union?

Group 5, Sonja Fogelholm and Ida Kukkapuro

According to a recent poll made by Pew Research, the unhappiness of the EU citizens continues soaring. Pew calls the EU ‘The New Sick Man of Europe’.

Statistics show that among the 8 countries surveyed, Germans have the most positive outlook on the EU with 60 percent who say they’re favorable of the union. Least content are the Czechs with only 38 percent saying they are content. However, the Czech Republic is the only country where the satisfaction with the EU has risen since 2012. In the 7 other countries the percentage of people in favour with the union has dropped since last year.

The most drastic change in contentment happened in France and Spain. The French dissatisfaction grew from 40 percent to 59 percent and in Spain from 40 percent to 54 percent. The dissatisfaction among the Spaniards is not surprising as the economic situation in the country has been getting more and more devastating for several years. According to Pew’s Research, almost 80 percent of Spanish people described their financial situation as very bad.

But what has lead for the French to be more and more unsatisfied with the EU? The research summarizes that although the opinions about EU have always differed a bit in Germany and France, the French opinion is now resembling more the southern devastation. There are simple reasons for that. Positive assessments of the economy have fallen more than half since before the crisis and 67 percent of the French people think their president Francois Hollande is doing a lousy job solving the problem.

How about Finland?

opinion

Finland is not among the surveyed countries but an Eurobarometer poll from May 2011 shows that Finns who think the EU is a good thing (47 percent) are about in the same rank with the UK right now (43 percent).

The UK has been very loud with their growing dissatisfaction. The country’s Prime Minister David Cameron has stated in various newspapers that if he will be re-elected for another term, there will be a referendum on whether the country shold stay in the union or not.

The most EU-critical Finns look up to Cameron. How do they explain leaving the union?

Reasons to split-up

1. Returning the political power fully to the Finnish nation

‘The core of our constitution is the sovereignty so the citizens have the highest power. It’s questionable whether that comes true when we are a member of the EU’ states the Independent party (in the last parliament elections it got just a bit over 3 000 votes, and didn’t get any seats).

Finland shouldn’t get into the federation that will be established on the basis of the Lisbon treaty. Only by independence the Finnish nation can remain democratic.

2. Staying out of wars, NATO and military union

When a member of the EU, Finland will need to take part in the possible military crises. It would be best to stay neutral in order to avoid conflicts.

3. Internal food market and domestic food production

Domestic production can be secured only in an independent Finland.

4.  Abandon the sinking €-boat

Not just the Independent party, but many sceptics support returning to the use of Finnish marks. The argument lies in the bad finance politics and good survival of for example Sweden, Denmark and UK.

Even the leader of the True Finns Timo Soini says:

‘Finland would cope just fine without euro.’

5. Rid of the suspicious countries

The chairman of the youth association of the True Finns state:

‘I am not ready to commit to a system where we are firmly attached to countries with gray economy, high unemployment, unfair financial practices and that, moreover, are culturally very different.

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