European Union
That’s Close Enough, Thanks

The EU’s “ever closer union” goal isn’t very popular these days. A new Opinium poll asked Europeans from various countries to choose a statement that best described their view of the EU. Here’s a summary of a key finding, via Open Europe:

Only 14% of Brits, 17% of Dutch and 24% of French believe that EU countries “should continue to progress towards ever closer union” and transfer more powers to Brussels – compared to 56% of Spaniards, 54% of Portuguese and 47% of Italians. The poll also shows that 35% of overall respondents think the EU has been handling the UK’s EU referendum “badly”, with only 15% saying the issue has been handled well.

These results underline a dynamic that has been slowly emerging as Brussels has fudged its way through successive crises: The leading powers increasingly seem to regret their tight coupling with Mediterranean countries they see as profligate and irresponsible, while citizens of the southern countries appear to have a weak appetite for breaking away. For a closer look at these dynamics and the resultant political quagmire, see Michael Mandelbaum’s article in our current issue, aptly titled “Euromess.”

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