The official Eurobarometer study will come as a significant blow to the Conference on the Future of Europe. According to the survey, respondents from 13 EU states do not want to participate in the citizens-led initiative. EU leaders wanted to engage with people as part of a major post-Brexit reset of the bloc but their efforts have been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
But the scheme is due to get signed off tomorrow by Portuguese prime minister Antonio Costa, who holds the bloc’s rotating residency, Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and Parliament boss David Sassoli.
In an embarrassment for Lisbon, it has highest number of citizens who say “no” to participating in the conference.
Sixty-four percent of people in Portugal signalled they didn’t want to take part in the scheme, the official EU poll found.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who has championed the programme, was also dealt a significant blow, with 58 percent of people in his country suggesting they do not want to take part.
Paris was an early supporter of the conference and set out plans for it in March 2019 in the hope of introducing a series of sweeping EU reforms.
A majority of people from Hungary, Bulgaria, Spain, Poland and Denmark all suggested they would not take part in the scheme.
They were joined by citizens in Malta, Austria, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Finland as EU countries with a majority of people who didn’t actively suggest they wanted to participate.
On average, across the bloc just over half of people said they would like to be involved.
Belgians, Luxembourgers and Slovenians were the most enthusiastic for the project.
Romanian MEP Cristian Terhes said: “EU Federalist fanatics like Emmanuel Macron and Renew Group head Dacian Cioloș wish to destroy the constitutional democracies, the sovereignty of the member states as well as to bypass European treaties in their way to undermine the European national states and transform the EU into a supranational federal state.
“The results of the Eurobarometer show that the nations of Europe understand that we don’t need ‘more Europe’, a slogan used by the federalists to gain more power from the member states, but a “better Europe”, which is closer to the people and their national Parliaments.
MUST READ: Brexit LIVE: UK and EU at ‘major crossroads’ as row erupts
Just 14 percent said they hold a negative image, while 39 percent described themselves as “neutral”.
But six in ten Europeans claimed the coronavirus pandemic had made them reflect on the future of the bloc.
More than 27,000 people were interviewed as part of the survey across the EU’s 27 member states between October 22 and November 20 last year.