Handelsblatt/YouGov Exclusive

A Year of Turmoil Breeds Pessimism and Fear

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The YouGov/Handelsblatt Global survey, the first in a series of quarterly polls, measures the uncertainty and fear gripping Europe as it copes with political instability, terror and the breakdown of old institutions.

  • Facts


    • Asked how they see the future of the European Union, a majority of people surveyed by YouGov in seven European countries said they are “very” or “fairly” pessimistic. France and Norway are the most pessimistic at 60 percent and 64 percent respectively.
    • A majority in all countries except Finland also believe it is “fairly” or “very” likely that another country will leave the European Union in the next 10 years.
    • The countries surveyed by YouGov, on behalf of Handelsblatt Global, were Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and the United States.
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Hungary  Protest
Disillusion with the European Union is high, as are fears of a looming global conflict. Source: AP Photo/MTI/Tamas Kovacs

Citizens of the largest E.U. countries are generally pessimistic about the future of the 28-nation bloc and fearful the world may be hurtling towards global conflict, according to a new survey by online polling firm YouGov in conjunction with Handelsblatt Global.

After a year of political surprises and populist gains across the western world, a majority of citizens in Britain, France, Germany and four Scandinavian countries are either “fairly” or “very” pessimistic about the future of the European Union, according to the survey. Those polled in Britain, France, Germany and the United States also think a “global war” is more likely than not.

A majority in each country surveyed said they don’t expect Britain will be the last country to leave the bloc, while most people in each country except Germany expected their domestic economic situation to deteriorate rather than improve next year.

Support for the European Union has slipped, though most people outside of Britain still favor staying in the bloc. Six months after Britain’s Brexit vote, the YouGov/Handelsblatt Global poll found Britain is still as split as ever on E.U. membership.

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