Top 10 findings: Referendum, Re-negotiation, Restructure

Research with General Population Across the EU

Strategic Communications

July 21, 2015

With the UK’s EU membership being put to a referendum before the end of 2017, Greece’s place within the Eurozone looking increasingly fragile and a rise of Eurosceptic parties questioning the practicality of the Europe machine; FTI Consulting has conducted research to better understand the opinions of the general population at this pivotal moment in the history of the EU. Below are our top 10 findings from five key and very different EU member states:

#1. EU Referendum Vote
With the UK Prime minister currently re-negotiating the UK’s membership before an ‘in-out’ referendum, is this simply a question for the UK or would other countries in the EU such as France and Sweden, who have both seen strong showings for anti-immigration parties, opt for the same if there was a referendum in their country? It seems that whilst 61% of Germans and 58% of Estonians would want to stay in the EU without change, 35% of those in France would be more partial to vote to remain in if there was an opportunity to follow the UK and re-negotiate terms of its membership (+5% higher than the UK and Sweden).

#2. Generation Gap
Driving this desire to remain in the EU is the millennials; who would overwhelming vote to keep their countries within the EU. The baby boomers are the more cynical group, particularly in the UK, with just 25% of those who are 50+ years old wanting to remain in the EU, compared to the majority of 18-29-year-olds who share this voting intention.

#3. EU Campaigning
Interestingly, 44% of the UK believe that the EU should be able to actively campaign if there was a referendum on a country’s continued membership, much less than in Germany and France where the majority agree they should be allowed.

#4. Re-Negotiations
So how can the EU bring back those who are disenfranchised with the current system? Reviewing the financial contribution that each country makes to the EU budget could be a start, with this particularly salient in the UK (48%) and Germany (41%). In contrast, those in France (39%) and Estonia (42%), particularly desire more focus on re-negotiating EU trade policy & competition.

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Key Contacts

Louise Harvey

Non-Exec Chairman, Strategic Communications Brussels

Dan Healy

Managing Director

Alex Deane

Senior Managing Director, Head of UK Public Affairs