BTA News

Most Bulgarians Approve of Bulgaria’s EU Membership

The European Parliament published on Wednesday its Eurobarometer survey for autumn 2023, demonstrating citizens’ continued support for the EU and greater interest in the upcoming European elections.

The proportion of Bulgarians who say their country has benefited from EU membership is 57%, which puts the country in last place alongside Italy (57%) and Austria (55%), and represents a 10 percentage point drop from the next country, Cyprus (67%). The main reasons cited by Bulgarian respondents are the new job opportunities the EU brings (49%), improved cooperation between EU countries (31%), with the EU’s contribution to peacekeeping and strengthening security remaining in third place with 25%.

The main priorities of the European Parliament according to Bulgarian respondents should be the fight against poverty and social exclusion (44%), support for the economy and the creation of new jobs (39%), public health (35%), as well as the topics of democracy and the rule of law and the future of Europe (both with 23%). Action on climate change was recognised by only 11% of respondents and migration and asylum by 9%.

The data for Bulgaria on living standards is close to the EU average – 72% of respondents (down 10 pp compared to spring 2023) think their living standards will worsen in the next year. On the other hand, 59% of Bulgarians (more than 20 pp above the EU average) say they have difficulty paying bills sometimes or most of the time.

Some 68% of EU respondents say they are likely to vote if the European Parliament elections are held in a week’s time – an increase of 9 pp compared to autumn 2018. Meanwhile, data for Bulgaria shows that only 39% (down 2 pp compared to autumn 2018) of Bulgarians are interested in the upcoming European elections, and just over half of Bulgarian respondents (51%, up 1 pp compared to autumn 2018, down 4 pp from spring 2023) would vote if the elections were held in a week’s time.