Lithuanians among most enthusiastic about EU membership, want UK to stay – poll

DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

Malta was the most enthusiastic member of the EU, with Maltese citizens giving their EU membership a positive rating of 76 out of 100. Spain and Poland were in second place with a rating of 72, followed by Ireland (71) and Lithuania (70).

Britain’s Lord Ashcroft commissioned the poll which asked 28,000 voters from across the EU’s 28 member states their views on a potential ‘Brexit’ and about their attitudes towards the EU.

A large majority of Lithuanians said they wanted Britain to stay in the EU (78%), among the biggest supporters of Britain staying in the union. Around 60% of people in the EU-27 said they would like the UK to stay in the EU, 30% said it didn’t matter and 10% preferred the UK to leave.

The Czech Republic had the most negative attitudes about EU membership, with just 45% of those polled giving EU membership a favourable rating, followed by Sweden at 51. Britain and Denmark were jointly the third most unenthusiastic members of the EU with a score of 52.

The research found that citizens of eurozone countries were more positive about EU membership than those in non-Eurozone countries (65-58). In non-eurozone countries, nearly a third or 31% gave a negative rating of EU membership, compared to just 22% of those in countries with the euro.

When asked what were the most important benefits of EU membership, citizens of countries that joined since 2004, including Lithuania, ranked being able to travel freely across EU countries (73) and being able to live and work in other EU countries (73%) as the top benefits.

Lithuanians polled also ranked being able to travel freely across EU countries (85) and being able to live and work in other EU countries (80) as the top benefits of membership. On the other hand many Lithuanians also saw a downside to this freedom of movement, with Lithuanians polled saying the biggest disadvantage of EU membership was people leaving to work in other countries (51%).

Citizens in every EU country ranked Germany as the state that has the most influence over the EU, followed by France and the UK.

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