Problems with vaccine procurement have undermined confidence in the EU institutions, the ECFR survey found. The attitude of Germans and the French is particularly worrying.

Last year, residents of almost all regions of Europe felt that the level of governance in the broadest sense had improved, with the exception of the residents of Hungary and Poland. This may have been because democratic rights and institutions have been significantly weakened in these two countries in response to the pandemic.

A study by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) reports a rather unfavourable public attitude for the future of the continent. According to a survey of 12 Member States, including Hungary, in the spring, faith in the European Union has faltered as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.

Despite the Orbán government’s relentlessly Eurosceptic campaign, those who are distrustful of the EU or whose confidence in the community has been shaken since last year remain in the minority in Hungary, but the opposite has happened in other countries. In six Member States, the majority are already distrustful and losing confidence.

The depth of the crisis of confidence is shown by the fact that most French, Italian, and Spanish citizens said they were disillusioned with both the EU and their domestic political systems, and the majority of Germans believed that the EU was malfunctioning.

These are quite worrying signs for the future of Europe.

Has Germany had enough of the Hungarian government?

The research traces dissatisfaction back to a vaccination program that started slowly and chaotically earlier this year, compounded by the fact that the UK, which has just left the community, has quickly vaccinated its own population. However, the success of the recovery programme may have a positive effect on the perception of the EU – in eight of the 12 Member States, including Hungary, the majority of respondents expect the EU to provide key assistance in recovering from the coronavirus epidemic.

The fact that external shocks have pushed the EU from crisis to crisis over the last decade and a half may play a role in the loss of its prestige.

Between the global financial crisis, the debates over the Greek debt situation, the migration and refugee crisis, the Syrian civil war, issues related to asylum seekers, and the dragged-out process of Brexit, European leaders did not have a breather as the coronavirus epidemic hit the continent a few weeks later.

Government to Brussels: “Hungary would not succumb to political blackmail”

However, in the context of crisis management, decision-makers are making a tangible effort to breathe new life into the Union. In general, there is still a deep commitment to the EU:

in 11 of the 12 countries surveyed, the majority clearly feel that the EU membership was beneficial for their country, with 56 per cent in Hungary sharing this view.

Reopening, increasing vaccination, and economic recovery are expected to improve sentiment everywhere. The ECFR research concludes that European leaders are best placed to regain lost confidence by making the community a significant factor at the international level as well. Hungarians also want the EU to be a value-based community: 27.8 per cent would keep in mind the democratic values, and 26.3 per cent would protect European traditions and values while preserving strong nation-states.

A significant proportion of Hungarians believe that we handled the pandemic much or somewhat better than other countries. Roughly one-third (33.2 per cent) of the public thought that we had a better response to the crisis than the United States.

A survey conducted by Median showed that some Hungarians see the response to the pandemic through rose-tinted glasses: in that survey, 36 per cent of the voting population rated the deplorable Hungarian death statistics as relatively or very good; in the case of pro-government voters, the proportion was 53 per cent.

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Read alsoWill the Hungarian pension ever compare to the EU?

Source: nepszava.hu; 444.hu

6 comments
  1. One thing that is never mentioned in articles about the popularity of EU is the way in which EU is gradually increasing its control over things that should not (in my opinion) be controlled in Brussels.
    Many people still think the EU is the same organisation that it was 15 years ago but if you look closely it is completely different.
    15 years ago it was unthinkable that EU would interfere in a sovereign nations elections. Now it is common place. EU interfered in UK election to prevent Theresa May getting a big majority, Italy has had EU friendly leaders imposed on them without elections (as in 1930’s)
    EU is battling hard now to prevent Le Pen winning in France next year and we can all expect a huge effort by EU to overthrow Viktor Orban.

  2. There is this huge question mark in regards to the death rate in Hungary.
    It has not been proven but understanding what has happened during the last hundred years I am not at all surprised.
    Sadly, Hungarians have always had exceptionally high levels of stress.
    During the communist regime THE HOPELESSNESS, INDIVIDUALS SEEING NO FUTURE, THE REMOVAL OF ALL HOPE HAVE CAUSED MANY HUNGARIANS TO COMMIT SUICIDE.
    PLEASE LOOK AT THE SUICIDE-RATE STATISTICS FOR THAT TIME.
    Only a few ELITE were able to have what we now call a “normal existence”.
    Education was paramount but the better educated people are, the more they see the HOPELESSNESS OF IT ALL.
    This combined with LACK OF FOOD, -there were times you couldn’t even get bread-
    RESULTING IN EXTREMELY BAD NUTRITION.
    Hungarians in general are ambitious people.
    Remove that DRIVE FOR ADVANCEMENT AND INDEPENDENCE, you remove THE PURPOSE for their EXISTENCE.
    We are going through some extremely trying times globally – not mentioning the ongoing attacks from the EU so blatantly WANTING TO ENSLAVE OUR COUNTRY AND OUR PEOPLE plus supporting the left
    coalition – and as the Hungarian is being more vulnerable physically as well as psychologically, I feel
    most people would be and are suffering.
    THE EU NEEDS TO HAVE A GOOD HARD LOOK AT ITSELF WHAT IT IS DOING TO ITS
    PEOPLE IT HAS A RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE CARE OF.
    IT NEEDS EFFECTIVE LEADERS AND STOP ROBBING PEOPLE OF THEIR NATIONAL PRIDE, IDENTITY
    AND SQUASH THEIR HOPE FOR ADVANCEMENT.
    WHY CAN’T WE JUST TRADE WITH EACH OTHER AND LEAVE POLITICS AND CONTROL OUT OF IT.

    IF YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO HELP, YOU HAVE TO BE STRONG AND HEALTHY FIRST YOURSELF.
    THE EU IS IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT HEALTHY.

  3. I have to mention that anyone can take a survey selectively and get any result the survey taker wants. The European Union is just another slowly growing dictatorship and many Hungarians see the parallels with The Soviet Union. The EU should be broken up into a million pieces and send a message once and for all the people of Planet Earth do not want the New World Order Marxist Dictatorship. They do not want its forerunner the EU and the other proto megastates either.

  4. Commentators – ALL make valid points of the European Union shortcomings and Failure.
    They collectively make points that the radical change in the European Union over the past (15) fifteen years – has seen drastic destructive the painful process – imposed on member countries, attempting to shape, pattern, mould and design – their Functionality – along political agendas and rhetoric, that has strangulated the core fabrics history lifestyle and sheer existence to large degrees of numerous member countries.
    The “tall poppy syndrome” – individuals on big ego drives encouraged and supported by “faceless” bureaucrats – palms being “greased” – in their self imposed roles of importance, that lack candour, substance and validity.
    These are just part examples why the European Union is at the cross roads of it’s immediate dubious functionality, that raises the serious question – is it required and if YES – what is it PURPOSE.
    Mingling – into the roots or core of a country’s Political System – through a back door approach that is FACELESS and Gutless – these “games” we know continue from the European Union, will continue to fragment causing mass disharmony division and separation – in the European Union, that may lead to it’s disbandment.
    The European Union – needs to medicate itself to return its ROLE – back to what it was created designed and functioned in its initial years – and not MINGLE or “stir the pot” – in areas that its LAWS – clearly highlight are not of it’s Concern nor Responsibility.
    Focus on keeping your own house in order and don’t MINGLE into affairs and areas of other member countries – that the European Union has No Right to be Politically or other involved.

  5. To “denisf”
    Please get your facts right, you keep repeating the same boring words.
    Hungary gets roughly the same amount it gives to the EU.

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