Euroscepticism is growing in Germany with two-thirds of Germans feeling dissatisfied with the state of the European Union (EU) and nearly half wanting a vote on membership of the supranational bloc.
According to a recently-published survey conducted on behalf of the Körber Foundation, 62 per cent of Germans say that the EU is not on the right path and 42 per cent of respondents wished to have a referendum on EU membership.
Nearly all respondents (96 per cent) want a more transparent and “citizen-orientated” EU.
The survey, undertaken in October, also showed that the migrant crisis, followed by conflict zones, constitute what Germans believe are the greatest challenges for German foreign policy.
In terms of feelings of national identity, 62 per cent of Germans still see themselves as “more German than European”. Broken down by political alliance, 82 per cent among those who support the populist, anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party agreed with that statement. Left-wing Greens are the only party whose supporters feel more European than German, albeit just barely at 50 to 49 per cent.
Though 79 per cent consider the EU as a “peace project” and 71 per cent see the bloc as a “community of values”, 64 per cent reject expansion with 82 per cent being against Turkey’s accession.
In the same month, research was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs and found that Germany had overtaken Britain as the European nation most concerned with immigration – a significant development for a nation which has long prided itself on their openness to migrants.
Though a sizeable number of Germans want a referendum on EU membership, president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has urged nations to not hold referendums on membership of the political bloc.
Conceding that there was a “lack of love” for EU governance across the continent, he said that the EU was “entering a ‘last chance’ phase because the gulf between Europe’s citizens” and the political action of the EU was “growing ever wider”.