Lithuanians also stand out in their confidence in the European Union, he adds.
The latest Eurobarometer survey indicates that Europeans, and Lithuanians as well, thinks that immigration is the biggest challenged faced by the European Union. How are concerns in of Lithuanians different from those of the rest of the Europeans?
You’ve mentioned that EU citizens name immigration and terrorism as the key problem of the EU. But when they are asked about their own countries, both Lithuanians and Europeans name unemployment.
In Lithuania, there’s another topical problem. At least in May surveys, many were talking about price rises. This issue rose 12 points since last autumn.
So people in Lithuania are more worried about their everyday issues than migration?
The way people perceive and identify problems depends very much on the situation and the events that are reported on the news. In May, there was the “cauliflower scandal”. It was a month of comparing prices.
What do Europeans think about the future of the EU? What do Lithuanians make of it?
For the last ten years, Lithuanians have been very pro-European, they trust the EU. This time, Lithuania is number one among EU nations in terms of trust in EU institutions. Meanwhile the overall average is negative – more people mistrust EU institutions than trust them.
Who are the biggest eurosceptics?
Greece is the biggest eurosceptics, moods there are particularly low on a number of counts.
There are other issues, too, like should more countries be allowed to join the EU. Lithuanians are quite positive about it, 64% of the polled say that yes, we should allow new countries in. But these figures can hide different aspects. A number of studies have shown that Lithuanians would like to admit Ukraine, and Romanians want to see Moldova join. Meanwhile Western Europeans prefer not to let new countries in, primarily they are thinking about Turkey.
By the way, Lithuania identifies with the EU, but there are countries that do not see their future in the EU, like the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Cyprus.
How do Europeans respond to the questions about satisfaction with their lives?
They are essentially satisfied. For instance, Scandinavians (in Denmark, Sweden, Finland) are almost 100% satisfied with their lives. Lithuanians are less so, although the majority are.
However, the survey has also shown that life satisfaction has fallen 9 points, from 75% to 66%. Previously, we had a slow but consistent growth, so something must have happened this time.