Irish public opinion continues to increase its support for stronger EU economic governance, Along with the Finns, Ireland showed a 13% rise in those who want stronger European measures and coordination to combat the economic crisis, with a total of 77% in favour.
When asked how they felt about the national economic situation, 95% of Irish people polled think things are very or rather bad – as compared to an EU average of 77%. The most pessimistic of all are the Greeks (98%) and the Hungarians (96%). When asked about the national employment situation, 97% of Irish people polled were pessimistic, third most gloomy in the EU, behind the Greeks and the Spanish. The overall EU average was 83%. On the other hand, the Swedes are the least pessimistic about their national economy in the EU, at 26%.
Even while remaining bleak about the economy, Irish people polled were becoming more positive about the next 12 months - almost a quarter believe things will improve, a rise of 7 points on the previous Eurobarometer poll. And there was a fall in numbers who thought that things would get worse, down 17 points to 37%.
On the more classic Eurobarometer questions regarding support for the EU and its institutions, Ireland continues to show strong support, with 66% believing that EU membership is a good thing, although this is down 6% from autumn 2009. The most positive are Luxembourgers at 70% followed by the Dutch at 69% and then Ireland and Denmark at 66%. The EU average for this question is 49%.
On other matters, a high proportion (72%) of Irish respondents believes that support for research and development policies is important (EU average 59%).
Ireland was in second place with 66% for agreeing that it was important to strengthen the e-economy by developing ultra-fast broadband in the EU. The EU average was 46%.
The 'Standard' Eurobarometer is carried out every 6 months. In Ireland, approximately 1000 face-to-face interviews were conducted in May 2010. The previous poll, which it is compared with, was conducted in October 2009.
The first results of this Eurobarometer poll may be downloaded below
The responses from Ireland compared with the rest of the EU can also be downloaded below.