Feelings on the evolution of European sentiment among European civil servants

Unpublished poll on the feeling on the evolution of the European sentiment by European civil […]

Unpublished poll on the feeling on the evolution of the European sentiment by European civil servants

 

A survey done for the “Call to Europe” conference organized in Brussels by FEPS on 29 and 30 June shows that almost one in two European civil servants think that European integration is evolving negatively and nearly 90% of them are of the opinion that the political authorities must take their responsibility.  These officials seem to have limited confidence in their own ranks, however, since in their opinion, it is up to the Member States to stimulate allegiance to Europe, ahead of their own institutions that they assign to the second position.

European civil servants seem to consider that European power is in the hands of the Member States — this prevalence reveals an element of weakness of European institutions that are supposed to assume this role” declared Massimo d’Alema, former Italian prime minister and president of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) that ordered the survey. 

The Member State governments (84%), ahead of the European institutions (73%) have the role of fanning the European flame — this is essentially the conclusion of the survey done in June with 231 civil servants by the Belgian survey company Dedicated.be. Conversely, European civil servants are very comprehensive with regard to citizens (33%) – this shows systematically in the survey.

This decline in European sentiment and consequently the lack of leadership in this field, could entail several risks according to European civil servants: reinforcement of nationalism (82%), slowing down of the European integration process (78%), losing (further) ground on the global scene (60%), continuation of the recession (56%), and even further difficulties in implementing the possibilities provided by the Lisbon Treaty (50%).

This uneasiness is confirmed when only one in five civil servants feel that the EU 2020 strategy has a greater chance of success than the Lisbon Strategy. Hardly more (30%) consider that “giving priority to austerity plans will cure the European ills in the medium and long term“. But no one seems naïve: 62% of the civil servants surveyed consider that the Commission pursues a liberal policy.

 

Brussels is not as isolated as one might think

 

Contrary to preconceived ideas, European civil servants are not disconnected from reality. Evidence of this: employment, which comes in the first position, followed in third and fourth position by economics and social issues, are among the various policies proposed to rekindle European drive. They also consider that the decline in attachment to Europe is explained by the development of nationalism (51%), the absence of European projects clearly understood by citizens (47%), loss of confidence in politics (46%), economic recession (44%), and enlargement of the EU (42%), to list the five most frequent responses

Finally foreign policy comes in second position among priority actions, although the civil servants feel doubtful about the new External Action Service (32%). However, there is no doubt about the effectiveness of the action if it is initiated. The civil servants feel that the EU would be stronger if it adopted common positions on international conflicts such as the recent events in North Africa (82%), where, we recall, Europe not only came out divided, it then sent a negative message by refusing to accept migrants fleeing Tunisia.

———————

This survey was done in June with 231 civil servants by the Belgian survey institute Dedicated.be. It was ordered by FEPS in the context of the Call to Europe conference that will bring together more than 50 experts on 29 and 30 June in Brussels on a central question: “If we do not have a united Europe nowadays, would there be any reason to bother creating it?

For more information on the conference Call to Europe

https://www.feps-europe.eu/calltoeurope/

Beyond the survey for any question, contact Alain Bloëdt, FEPS Communication Advisor

Find all related publications
Publications
23/10/2022

The progressive potential of the EU

FEPS Primers Series - Richard Corbett
04/10/2022

Europe’s social integration

Welfare models and economic transformations
26/09/2022

Transforming the Political Union

Reinforcing europarties ahead of the European elections
28/03/2022

Citizens’ Europe – An institutional turn for an ever-democratic union?

Policy Study by FEPS Young Academic Network (FEPS YAN) The paper outlines a vision of […]
Find all related events
Events
Past
13 - 15/11/2022
Prague, Czech Republic

Friends of the Western Balkans

Closed-door roundtable
26 - 28/05/2022

Vision Conference on Future of Europe – The EU’s man on the moon moment

26 – 28 may 2022, Certosa di Pontignano (Siena) This Vision conference organized with the University of […]
21/03/2022
Florence (Italy)

The Future of Europe starts today

Florence (Italy), 21 March 2022 The European Parliament Former Members Association (FMA) and the Historical Archives of the European […]
Find all related news
News
21/06/2022

Ahead of this week’s European Council, progressive MEPs and MPs urge EU leaders to take resolute actions toward the Western Balkans

On 17 and 18 June, the ‘Friends of the Western Balkans’, the newly established network […]
17/06/2022

First meeting of the Friends of the Western Balkans

How do we get out of the dead end in the enlargement process?
28/01/2022

Roberto Gualtieri is FEPS’ Progressive Person of the Year

The recently-elected mayor of Rome Roberto Gualtieri was named Progressive Person of the Year by […]
25/05/2021

Commissioner Ferreira and Former HRVP Mogherini among the speakers that will join Call to Europe 10th edition

‘Recovering Europe: Mind the Social Gaps’ is the theme of the 10th edition of Call […]
Find all related in the media
In the media

Tyskland vill slopa vetorätt inom EU

by ETC 29/07/2022

Visioni e strategie per disegnare il futuro europeo 

by La Nazione 23/05/2022

2022: Pathway to reconstruction – EURACTIV

01/02/2022

A Europa sob teste de alta voltagem – PUBLICO

17/01/2022