Romanians Lose Faith in EU's Future
Fewer than half of Romanians feel much optimism about the way the European Union is heading a survey shows.Bucharest
Levels of optimism about the European Union and the direction it is heading have fallen to only 46 per cent support, according to a survey by Eurobarometer presented on Tuesday.
This is the lowest level of confidence in the EU recorded in Romania, down from 60 per cent in 2010 and well down from an 85 per cent level of trust in the pre-accession period.
Other countries have seen a similar pattern, though they average a drop in confidence of 8 percentage points from 2010 to 2011, compared to 14 percentage points in Romania’s case.
“Romanians are becoming more critical in their attitudes towards the EU. Most likely this is due to the effects of the austerity measures taken by the government following the start of the debt crisis,” the European Commission Representative to Bucharest, Nicolae Idu, said.
Romania is dependent on a 20-billion-euro rescue package from the IMF, the European Union and the World Bank. It obtained the loan in May 2009 in exchange for agreeing to push through austerity measures aimed at taming the country’s deficit.
“Until autumn of 2009, Romanians were very optimistic, then a slight drop in trust towards EU and its individual institutions was encountered and this was followed by a significant drop over the course of the past year, when the effects of the crisis were worst in Romania,” Idu added.
Even so, Romanians still trust the EU more than their European counterparts, where the average level of trust is of 38 per cent.
Italians have the lowest level of confidence in the EU, on 21 per cent, while Spain comes second, with only 28 per cent of respondents feeling confident in the EU’s future.
Neighboring Bulgarians have more confidence – 60 per cent of its nationals trust the EU. The Swedes are the most confident in the EU's future, followed by the Latvians, with around 65 per cent.
“Romania's accession to the EU in 2007 has failed to bring about the hoped-for social progress,” George Radulescu from the dailynewspaper Adevarul said. “This is due mainly to the bad policies adopted in recent years”, he added.http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/romanians-start-to-lose-trust-in-the-eu