On Saturday, we liveblogged the European Commission’s “Debate on the Future of Europe” event in Brussels; a townhall-style debate with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Viviane Reding. An audience of ordinary citizens (i.e. not just the usual crowd from the “Brussels bubble”) had the opportunity to grill Reding over the (seemingly) permanent economic crisis in the EU and, more generally, the future of Europe.

We will put the video of the event online soon, but in the meantime you can see a few words about the debate from Viviane Reding below (as well as reading our liveblog here).

We’d like to continue the debate online here, so today we’re asking you if you trust the European Union (though, according to the opinion polls, most of you won’t). Since the beginning of the economic crisis, Eurobarometer has recorded plummeting levels of trust in the European Union, from a high of 57% in 2007 to only 31% last year.

However, despite the huge loss of trust this represents, only a minority of people (18%) think EU membership is a bad thing for their country, whilst 47% think it is a good thing. Furthermore, slightly more people are optimistic (49%) than are pessimistic (46%) about the future of the EU. Is this glimmer of public support enough to sustain the European project?


During the townhall event on Saturday, the audience were asked if they supported stronger “political union” in Europe. An overwhelming 91% voted in favour.

True, Belgium is one of the countries with the highest level of trust in the EU (49%), and Brussels is the “Capital of Europe”, so this was never going to be a representative sample. Still, Viviane Reding closed the event with the remark that she will “continue fighting for a political Europe, and those who want a stronger Europe are those who will ultimately win the day,” and this is a message that she (along with several other EU Commissioners) will be taking to citizens from across Europe in a series of townhall events like this one. Whether this will help build trust in her and the institution she represents is a different question altogether.

What do YOU think? Do you trust the EU? Will Europe come out of the crisis stronger? And do you want a stronger political union in the EU? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

117 comments Post a commentcomment

  1. avatar
    Aleksejs Miščuks

    We need a central federal goverment a.k.a. Russia or United States, or else we’ll be divided and consumed one by one, including such giants as Germany, France and United Kingdom.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      In the last 200 years only the WAR-MONGERING twins of France (5x) and Germany (2x) have tried to conquer Europe.The UK looked elsewhere – hence the Commonwealth!!

  2. avatar
    Aleksejs Miscuks

    We need a central federal goverment a.k.a. Russia or United States, or else we’ll be divided and consumed one by one, including such giants as Germany, France and United Kingdom.

  3. avatar
    Davey Brown

    The EU IS the crisis and therefore the solution is obvious except to the fanatics who will plunge Europe into a new dark age.

  4. avatar
    Dennis Baltzis

    I used to trust it. I am a Pro-European, in favor of a Federalist Union. In order to happen that European leaders must change the approach and also to establish the democratic values back to the society. Economy is a very important thing but in Brussels must work for the prosperity of the people.

  5. avatar
    Mathias Darmell

    Yes! As a reformed federation of citizens. European integration have outgrown EUCO, intergovernmental circus.

  6. avatar
    Pedro Celestino

    It is not a democracy so, no!

    The day I can vote directly in what is law and what happens, I probably will.

    • avatar
      Jorge Nunez

      Do you vote for the European Elections or not? You vote your government, that is in the EU Council and takes decisions and the Parliament that has to also agree. The Commission is a bureaucracy supporting it, not controlling it. What else do you want, constant referendums? That is impracticable.

  7. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    I trust the eu about as far as I can pick it up and throw it….I hope the crisis brings the eu to an end once and for all.

  8. avatar
    Vincent Mag

    Europen Union is taken the freedom of the people of all the catagories.Shame on you.

  9. avatar
    Davut G. Benli

    Unless Turkey succeeds in its accession to the EU, it will be impossible to come out of the crisis. Please find out Turkey’s economic growth and keep to follow up Turkey!:)

    • avatar
      TIm van

      i dont think so

  10. avatar
    Aleksejs Miščuks

    David Fuzzey – UK Independence Party (UKIP) Anti european union – it says it all :) Why are you even in this conversation?

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      Aleksejs Miščuks – Europhile, eff-wit – unaccustomed to democracy – that says it all!!

  11. avatar
    Davey Brown

    Aleksejs…you ARE being consumed….You walk willingly into servitude and serfdom… and your attitude illustrates nicely why there can never be a federal Europe because while you and your people will meekly surrender… we in the UK will NEVER submit to Brussels EVER… If you want to live in a corrupt dictatorship then go ahead and do it but don’t expect this island race to do anything else but bring it crashing down.

    • avatar
      Joachim Ott

      Dear @Davey, I wonder what a great European and a great Brit – WInston Churchill – would say about this.

  12. avatar
    Vincent Mag

    There are many things to discuss with E.U. european union tell us something about Greenland Please.

  13. avatar
    Aleksejs Miščuks

    Davey if by “consumation” you mean free access to most of Europe, access to tons of information for self education, countless oportunities for cultural exchange, not even counting the vast opportunities for international employment and pan-European enlighment then yes – i am being consumed.Because it’s either this or your way which leads to isolationism, which would be o.k. if United Kingdom would still be the most powerful empire in the world, but let me remind you that the days of greatness are long gone and that can be said about many European countries.So in this perspective isolation = slow death and integration,consolidation with the rest of Europe = very slow growth.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      Let me remind you that the EU NEEDS the UK more than the UK needs the EU.

      WITH the UK the EU can compete with the USA. IF the UK sides with the USA then the EU will be a junior player in world affairs. If you then add the UK’s colonies [STILL!!] to the ANGLOSPHERE alliance such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand then the EU will be nothing but a bit-player in the multi-polar world.

      If the EU wants the UK to stay it should pay the UK at least £20B/year every year AND allow the UK to CHERRY PICK what it wants.

      Failure to comply will mean the EU (including the Baltic micro-states) will fade into oblivion and people like you may reminisce about the old-Soviet [occupation] times.

      PS: Your “consummation” argument is illogical and irrational.

  14. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    @ Aleksejs Mi??uks I go where I want and comment where I want. Oh look , its the old Empire thing how strange a Europhile brings that up…..but then a lot of you Europhiles can`t handle the concept of not wanting to be in the eu…such a shame that the English Channel is so narrow.

  15. avatar
    Aleksejs Miščuks

    David, if you don’t want to be a part of this union i can only advise you to vote on it on a referendum. As for “can`t handle the concept of not wanting to be in the eu” – i can handle it pretty well, thank you.And lastly – “such a shame that the English Channel is so narrow.” so are you implying that a little strip of water makes you somehow unique and standing outside the European cultural space?

    • avatar
      No name

      The UK is out of European cultural space, we have some similarities with Germany kind of, but we have an Island culture, and for the best part of 500 years, the UK has had a no single power in Europe policy. Not only this but Europe constantly dismisses British fears, and even has gone as far as to attack the financial system, which is a major part of the British economy. The EU is not very democratic, and very inefficient with movements of Parliament from Strasbourg to Brussels occurring every now and then. Britain fears eastern European lack of free speech, high racism and gender inequality, let alone Government corruption. The UK fears French, Spanish, and Italian work ethic, where they retire early and pay small amounts of tax.

      Fact of the matter is, Britain is separate from continental European culture. We have a completely different culture from any other European country. The channel has ensured that very little integration has occurred with Europe of the centuries.

      Believe it or not, I support Europe, but it isn’t perfect, and the UK often feels ignored, even though it is one of the power houses of Europe. And when it states it being ignored, idiots cut in and say that we can’t control the world like we did with our empire. Europe can stop it hypocrisy, France clung to their Empire with war, while Britain decolonized. Britain doesn’t require the Empire to make us a power, we still are, for 60 million people. we are the 6th largest economy, the 11th largest exporter and one of the best military forces. We are the home of innovation, with Oxford and Cambridge the second and fourth best universities in the world. A degree from the United Kingdom, and a British education is still regarded as one of the best in the world. London is the financial capital of the world along with New York, and is the European financial capital, dealing with 75% of the European Financial system.

      So please refrain from belittling my country, and ignoring our concerns with Europe, because unlike many countries, we still have a commonwealth market that is accessible and is booming. All Britain wants is a more transparent EU, so we know the benefits, and negatives. We can hold people to account, and there is no waste of moving Parliament to Strasbourg because France wants it so.

    • avatar

      Yes! That little strip of water as you call it has made us unique and has let us stand outside of the worst aspects of the European cultural space. The reason being is that the little strip of water has been one of the main reasons why no uninvited foreign army has been able to march through and subjugate our country in nearly 1,000 years (since 1066). More important is that this little strip of water helped give us time to develop the best constitution in the world, which is not only unique but light years ahead of any of its rivals. The difference between the UK constitution is the fact that it is unwritten and can be adapted and modified very easily by a simple vote in the UK Parliament. Such being the case the laws of the EU Parliament only have effect in the UK for as long as the UK Parliament is happy to let them continue to do so, the EU laws in the UK can be abolished very easily. I expect that there are many countries, particularly the smaller ones, who over the years have been very thankful that the UK has maintained her stability and when required has been able to stop the excessive behaviour of more powerful European countries. Long may the UK continue to do so either in or out of the EU

  16. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    A Europa vive numa encruzilhada ou á maior integração dos estados membros ou a Europa se desagrenga Só há um caminho é parar com o aprofundamento das austeridade e promitir que as empresas beneficiarem de baixas taxas de juros

  17. avatar

    I used to be all in favor of the EU until recently. I come from Cyprus and as you may all well know we have recently been ‘rescued’ by our EU ‘partners’ in a most ‘understanding’ and ‘supportive’ way. Namely by practically killing our banking sector and our economy OVERNIGHT! And with that the future and dreams of generations to come. I do not claim that we were faultless and did no mistakes on creating problems to our economy but the ruthlessness with which the EU grabbed the opportunity to destroy us by not giving at least a fair chance to our newly elected government (just 10 days in office !!!) to prove its willingness to remedy the problems proves that the EU is just a clan of the financially strong countries exploiting the weaker ones in every possible way! You may say I am prejudiced but the people of Greece, Spain, Portugal who are suffering under austerity measures will tell you that I’m not. This is not the Europe of solidarity that we dreamed. This is the Europe of interests and profit and to me they are simply criminal !!!!

    • avatar
      No name

      Sorry but your corrupt countries, or corrupt banking systems were failing. The country spent more than it could or private companies within the countries spent more than they should. Remember the EU was providing a large loan, and they wanted assurances. They didn’t take the money from you, they didn’t force you to spend money, they wanted assurance that your country would stop recklessly spending with their money.

    • avatar
      Jorge Nunez

      Your banking system was going to die by itself. The EU had to chose to support a dying and badly managed banking system or let it day to redo a new one and chose the latter, because the first was not a real solution, except for you of course. As long as others foot the bill. A pity you were in the EU really, if you were out the banks would have died and would not be able to find a scapegoat. No the EU had no reason to rescue the banks. In Cyprus or else.

  18. avatar
    Enes Hasimbegovic

    EU would work fantastically if the number of members is limited only to the richer countries. I doubt that will emerge from the crisis stronger than it was!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      I agree – get rid of the Club Med countries and put France on probation.

  19. avatar

    I used to trust, but no anymore. The EU is ruled by the Bank oligarchs that are contrary to my interests as a worker, unemployed at the moment.

  20. avatar
    Michele Pescolloni

    As Italian I really trust in Europe, I want our continent to turn into the United States of Europe. This is the only chance that we, young citizens , have to hope in a better future, this is the only way we have to live in peace.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      Of course YOU would agree – you live in a country wrecked by CRIME and CORRUPTION with a population lacking the civil courage necessary to END the Mafia and political corruption.

      Why should I compromise my democracy by pooling it with a country that has become so corrupt?

      It pains me to say it but the country with THE GREATEST of CULTURES (at least in Europe) should NOT be allowed in the EU!!

  21. avatar
    Nikolai Holmov

    “Do you trust the European Union?” – That very much depends upon what it is doing or trying to do in any particular policy sphere and whether it should even be getting involved in that policy sphere or leaving it to sovereign states.

    I trust a car mechanic to fix my car but not fly an aircraft. I trust a pilot to fly an aircraft but not operate on me.

    I trust the EU to find common ground amongst the member states if it is there to be found (even if it is always the lowest common denominator). I trust the EU to then project that common ground as the EU position domestically and internationally should it be found.

    I don’t trust it to know when to leave matters to nation states when it should – as numerous ridiculous entries and discussions on this website ably display.

    However the question is so broad it is almost pointless without setting the parameters within which I am supposed to trust – or not – the EU.

    • avatar
      No name

      I agree with you completely.

  22. avatar
    J. Abildgaard

    Yes I do…IF….the EU become ONE Government…otherwise, absolutely no!

    Having watched all the bribes, frauds, crimes committed by the …”oh so lovely” small independent states/Countries (their Governments…not the people) for the past many, many years…States who sign International(EU) conventions and, two seconds after they’ve signed…simply just go home without applying/implementing anything of what they’ve just signed…. and, only God knows what happens to the citizens who believed we had a working convention which we would be treated within……this will never ever work EU…..1 Government or nothing!!

    1 Government and, NOT a pure French, British or German Government (largest economies), but made up by a DEMOCRATIC election between all EU Citizens….ALL of us, NOT something existing Governments just decide without asking any of us…because this will just create an even worse continent!!!

    And….ONLY EU …if you take up the horrible neo-liberalism/right-wing and, throw it in the ocean once and for ever!!!! Never again Europe!! Remember…just remember the history we all learned….!!

    Europe is for ALL Europeans….and based on 100% equality!!! NOBODY is the sole lord and master…we’ve been through this before Europe…not this time…..OK!?

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      Dream on!

  23. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    It is an economic impossibility that Europe will emerge stronger after this crisis, and it has nothing to do with the EU. European governments are doing the complete opposite of what the US and China did in 2008, or any other country in history which successfully emerged out of a recession has done. Austerity is as legitimate a philosophy in economics as astrology is in psycho analisys. Both seem to have pattens you can see, both have an intricate ideology developed, but when you look at the data for cause and effect, they fail miserably.

    There were plenty of things the EU could have done five years ago, but that ship has sailed. No point in making adjustments to your football line up in the 85th minute when you are down 4-0. Just hope that you have learned your lesson for the next game, and have a good plan to make sure your team doesn’t fall apart before that happens.

    Sadly, I don’t see this happening any time soon because Germans look set to reelect Merkel and the Left in France and Italy so far has been snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  24. avatar
    Dany Sobral

    haha a federal government like US, Russia, NO! My ancestors didn’t fight for that and I will OPPOSE a federal government. We must adapt to the situation. For many years European countries were world powers, but now it isn’t the case and even a federal Europe, won’t give us any prosperity. infact it will destroy national sovereingity

  25. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    I for one look forward to the UK referendum. Either stay out or come into the water with both legs fully planted. None of this “we want to be in, but we want to hold up the other 25+ members from doing what they want” business. It is true that the UK is not the only eurosceptic country in the EU. the Czechs, Danes, Swedes all have their pet issues but they are occasionally in the sceptic and occasionally in the integrationist camp. the UK is not in the integrationist camp on any issue. The Union is like a car driving on the highway with a very big rock stuck on the underside.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      Jovan – YOU need to realise that the EU needs the UK more than the UK needs the EU.

      Consider, how powerful financially and resource-wise an ANGLOSPHERE UNION would be.

      It would include the UK, USA, AUSTRALIA, CANADA and NEW ZEALAND to name but a few – all speaking the same language, all enjoying the benefits of the superior ‘COMMON LAW’ legal system!!

      Pay the UK to stay in the EU and let the UK cherry-pick and then we MIGHT consider staying in the EU – but don’t hold your breath!!

  26. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Dany, are you seriously suggesting that people in Europe today fight for what their ancestors fought for? “what they fought for” caused two of the deadliest wars this planet has ever seen and you want to repeat that with even deadlier weapons in the nuclear age? Brilliant plan.

    If everyone said “I will only support what my ancestors fought for, how could any progress have been accomplished? How could you democratize the nation state, or even create it out of medieval petty kingdoms? How could you create a secular state out of one where Galileo was branded a criminal because he said the Sun doesn’t revolve around the Earth. Sometimes I get the feeling people speak before they think.

  27. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Most of the people believe that the main problem of the crisis is the general government debt of the Southern countries. At least they let them believe so. Wrong! The main problem is the “total” debt of the countries and not just the government’s.
    Imagine that Greece, which is in the heart of crisis has less percent debt than Germany. Have a look, it’s quite interesting:
    In that case, how the hell the Europeans will payout all this debt? How the hell Europe could manage to come out of the crisis???

  28. avatar
    Spyros Tsakos

    Europe will emerge stronger from the crisis by starting political integration and putting the citizens in the heart of the decision-making(it may take some time though).

  29. avatar
    Vicente Silva Tavares

    Let’s face it, the decadence of Europe is directly connected with the Globalism. Lowering the custom tariffs only had a result: the industry migrated to cheap labour countries and taking also the jobs. All European countries, including Germany are loosing industry share of the GDP. My country, Portugal, before entering EU had 38% of industry share of the GDP. Now, only have just 13%. This explain also some reasons of our crisis. This means, EU with its policies destroyed our industry to favour imports of Third World goods. The commercial current account of all European countries is in deficit. Politicians only can prolong the crisis with its austerity policy. Soon or later, they have to face the reality: Globalism and our extremely low custom tariffs is destroying our industry, with the industry gone we will loose our technology knowledge and we’ll be doomed to decay, unemployment and poverty. Meanwhile, countries like China will conquer all markets that traditionally were European or Western, like Africa and South America.

  30. avatar
    catherine benning

    This guy above, Vincente Silva Tavares has hit the nail, partly, on the head.

    Europe’s big problem from the eighties has been it is more interested in the rest of the world and their advancement rather than those of the people of Europe. We have, as Vincente puts it, outsourced our wealth. agriculture, manufacturing, technologies and even the simple answering of phone calls in call centres. You have forced our people into poverty. Creating the downfall of the European citizen in favour of the rest of the people on this planet. When I go to the supermarket in the UK I have to fight to find produce sourced from my home country or from any part of Europe. All I am stuffed with is food from Israel, Africa, South America and so on, shipped from miles away at a cost that is ridiculous, from a mindset that has to be inept. Ten our clothes, China, Taiwan, Bangladesh, India, and on and on. Our phone calls answered in India and barely able to comprehend a sentence spoken as they do so. It is insane. Who is running this show in Europe? It can only be a herd of European haters.

    Then to back it up we have gross interference in our personal lives, our banking changes, the wealthy creaming off the economic pie, until the ordinary man in our streets are starving. And as far as the UK being a rich country is concerned, think again, our people are also starving, like many in Greece, but, they are hiding it from the world and hiding the suicide rate.

    I’m deeply pro European. I believe in the civilizing culture of our collective countries and our people, as well as feel a united federal state would find us taking this hemisphere into a world we would be proud of as Europeans.

    But, no, I do not trust what we have. Look at our leaders and those they have chosen to be Commissioners and heads of this state. Catherine Ashton was a joke at the offset, and now, is clearly off the wall. And this kind of apple always ends up rotting the entire barrel. We find those we really trusted and thought highly of, are facing possible criminal charges for fraud, Christine Legarde and that Sweden is run by man haters and strange thinkers. Yet it is to them you turn to follow the educating of our children.

    Under the auspices of what we have as leaders, who incidentally have led us into chaos, no, of course not, how could I trust them and it? Trust them to give us more of the same, are you asking? Because I cannot see any clarity to the opaque scenario you have shoved at us all for so long now. You refuse democracy on any serious level. You are worse than the Romans under Nero. How could you ask for our trust? To offer up such a question in these circumstances is an insult. As if you believe, as the British government does of its people, that we are all ignorant plebs.

  31. avatar
    Alexandros Antoniou

    The answer is simple. NO.

    Without a federal government definitely no.

    But even then, I prefer an economic partnership. Monetary union/pegged exchange rates always leaded to the same result: austerity measures with no results. Yes having your own currency has other risks but in the case of argentina when they became “free”, even though the devaluation was as four times, they saw growth for the first time and decreasing unemployment.

  32. avatar
    Palma Muñoz Morquilla

    Crisis can be good if we realize of the reasons that have provoke this situation and we put the means in order not to repeat the same mistakes and to come out stronger and wiser. I hope that the European Union learn the lesson and one day we could say that it was worthy in some way.

  33. avatar

    Th UK WILL leave this political union . The EU has grown beyond its purpose of a trading block , These Isles are for free men .

  34. avatar
    J. Abildgaard

    @ Streetwalker

    I wish your statement about ”free men” could be believed, but as I am sure both you and I know…the word ”freedom” no longer is an option within Europe….not because of the union but, because of our Governments….the 1% who wants to own everything and, are willing to do everything to get it…even if they have to kill all of us…..

    Somebody once said ”if you meet a psychopath….run for your life” but, where do you run, when the psycho is your own Government??

  35. avatar


    We have not thrown in the towel yet and running is not an option

  36. avatar
    J. Abildgaard


    I wish we had the option of giving a ”flag” or a ‘smile’ in this debate….;)

    If we had, I would have given you a ‘smile’ for your last comment…here it is ;)

    Let’s fight the psycho’s in order to become the ‘free’ men and women……or, in other words…let’s tell our Governments who we are….the REAL Europeans!!

    Have a great day!!

  37. avatar

    First of , im not a populist or any other kind of fanatic. What i do see and read here are ideas that are planted by fanatics in brussels. Brussels should keep its hands of eu countries and learn where the borders are . The eu as a trading block (great), but as a federation no way! The countries within the zone need to compete , its good , they also need to have thier own currencies to be able to compete on a level field, and devaluate when in need . This federation idea looks like a power grab its that simple. We need inovation , not austerity ,banking unions . The leaders of the eu countries need to stop looking at thier own bank accounts and start listening to the people whom they work for, who pay thier salaries, lets have in/out referendums to see what the people say. Or are they scared???
    No more doomsday senarios please , just a referendum. An honest one !!

  38. avatar
    Paul X

    “only a minority of people (18%) think EU membership is a bad thing for their country, whilst 47% think it is a good thing”

    That is because a minority of countries (33%) are net contributors to the EU budget and the majority (67%) who are getting free handouts are obviously going to be happy

  39. avatar
    Nuno Magalhães Pequito

    Means that I have to get my money off the banks, that we have to pay the most useless guys on Earth like Olli Rehns, Barrosos and Rompuys, means that we have to pay 5% interest rates while Germany pays -0,034%, etc,etc. Europe is heading to a black hole.

  40. avatar
    daniel costa

    I feel European because I have pride in the heritage and cultural richness of the continent, because I feel that I am heir to humanistic values and solidarity and that these values were born in Europe. I feel at home traveling from Lisbon to Helsinki, Dublin to Athens. And I feel European because whenever i travel outside europe I identify myself as Portuguese and European, because that gives me security and, simply, I’m proud to say it. The motto “united in diversity” makes all sense, because if i say that i’m only Portuguese I feel incomplete without a European reference. And i feel that’s my duty to fight for the maintenance and growth of the idea of Europe.

  41. avatar
    Maria Jose Lambelho

    I dont like the way Europe is being ruled. Member States are getting against each other which is contrary to the spirit which led to the creation of the EEC. In Europe like at the level of families should be in difficult times that people come together and help each other. It is true that there are more difficulties in some MS than in others but the responsibility resides not only in the people who live there. This does not mean that those countries in difficulties should not pay their debts but that they should be helped to develop their economies in order to get out of the difficulty. Only a high level of austerity causes a restraint of economy and not its development.

  42. avatar
    Eli Dirkx

    I believe in individual freedom of each European citizen, and the highest standard of life for even the poorest among us.
    With the whole economic crisis and slew of European bailouts, though, I believe it’s going in reverse for all involved.

  43. avatar
    Javier Sánchez

    It impresse me that in this discussion forum always anti-Europeans prevail. In any Europe discussion space anti-Europeans always prevail, I think it’s really funny!

  44. avatar
    Mitran Georgeta

    Not yet. Europe: christianity, culture, traditions, human rights, my homeland, space to share common values, love and compassion, space to enjoy life, magnificent nature and miracle of human creations. Above all, means European Union. God bless Europe! I ‘m sorry for those who suffer now.

  45. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    Europe does not mean EU.. There is a difference between the European Union as an idea and ideal and the European Union as an institution that we have right now… So I may celebrate Europe and the European Union as an idea but deffinitelly not the corrupt institution that we have right now….

  46. avatar
    Ana Silva

    Vicente Tavares and Catherine Benning, said a big part of what I could say on this topic! We – the European Union – are not doing this right. We are not knowing how to provide for ourselves, we are not knowing how to honour the great ideas that inspired the European Union project. It’s not working. And for that I can’t say I trust the EU.
    But, I’m a believer. I said “we”, because I feel part of it, I feel like an European Union citizen. I believe in it. And I believe it will one day be something we can only be proud of. Have you ever taken a look to our Chapter of Fundamental Rights? Some would say that it’s just “small talk”, but it isn’t. It’s the biggest effort ever made to give deep and strong rights to all. Have you ever read a case from the European Court of Justice? They care. They care for the people. They care for the rights that the 4 economic freedoms meant to give us. And they fight for it. Have you noticed how many organizations we have fighting for all kinds of equality rights in Europe? There are people who care. People work everyday believing this is a project for all. Believing this is something worth fighting for. And I think it is worth fighting for. But we have to. We are not yet where we should be. And sometimes it’s seems we also have people working everyday for this to fail!
    We are more than just countries, and more than countries in crisis vs counties supporting them (or should I say we are not that at all?). We are a special region in the globe. A place where within few kilometres you are changing country, language and culture but feeling that you still belong. I’ve been in ERASMUS, I’m now in EVS and I come across people from around Europe and I feel great sharing time, ideas and dreams with them. Do you think this youth is that different? We are not. And we like to be together and we suffer together as well. No one wants the bad things that are happening and we wall believe in an Europe together. We ask for the ones in charge now to give us the opportunity to be part of this intercultural way of life. This generation I belong to is falling apart with the crisis, something has to be done! I trust in what EU can become! And some things are already going on…

  47. avatar
    Davey Brown

    I shall celebrate when the EU is on its well deserved funeral pyre. I am tired of my taxes being plundered by the robber barons in Brussels to spend on their vanity projects. How any reasonably intelligent human can support the organised criminals who run this cartel is beyond me… but if they want an EU… then it is they who should pay for it… the sane amongst us want no part in this vile dictatorship.

  48. avatar
    Olivier Laurent

    right now “pissed off” seems more appropriate especially when you see those new laws forbidding non commercial crops. I tend to make a clar distinction between Europe and the European union which is merely just an administration and certainly not the continent in itself.

  49. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Once upon a time some old enemies decided that they should stop hating each other and they created a company for the common good. It looked back then, as a great idea! And it was.
    Things seemed to go quite well and everybody were happy. Finally some of the company members grabbed the opportunity to get richer and more powerfull, against their partners.
    And they thought that they were living well, but in fact, we were all living even worst.
    So, what is there for us to celebrate?

  50. avatar
    Georgi Hrisstof

    Yes, yes, yes!
    I believe in the European Union!
    Believe will emerge stronger from the crisis!
    I believe it takes a strong delegation of political power!
    Will be leading, secure, flexible and strong! But also a social, peaceful, virtuous!

  51. avatar
    Mario Martinovic

    I dont’t trust the EU and Croatia is not even a member yet.

  52. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Dear Javier you are confusing things. A man who’s worried for the catastrophic course of EU, isn’t an anti-European. On the contrary he’s exact the opposite.The man however who supports the todays regime in EU, blindly and without any critical thinking, leads mathematically the Union to the dissolution. He is the anti-European.

  53. avatar
    Kamil Ozsoy

    Question should be “Do you trust the other members of EU?” rather than looking at it as a whole, and it should ask which ones are trusted and which aren’t. EU consists of all sorts of members, some contribute to it, some don’t make any difference, and some majorly drag it down. Such a general question is absurd.

  54. avatar
    Gavin Crowley

    I suspect that a Federal Europe on any current model of federalism would fail due to lack of a common spirit. Perhaps a unitary state with devolution would have some chance of success in time because it would nation-build; common rights, public broadcaster, promote some languages over others, common military… These kinds of centralising things built France from an unpromising beginning.
    Europe is not a ‘big Germany’ but more like a ‘big Italy’.

  55. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Dear Fuzzey you told us a hundred times about Europe and EU. Even if we were stupid we should have understood it already.
    Either way we have the example of the British islands. They are nothing but islands, the UK is a political construct , they are 2 different things.

  56. avatar
    Andrew Ayling

    Hopefully bringing people together from different country’s.
    Understanding and mutual respect for each other however its ended up driving people apart.
    A shame really because its had the opposite effect.
    I’m pro europe and the e.u however I can see the day when the uk pulls out unless there’s change in Brussels.

  57. avatar

    Isn’t it interesting that almost without exception the only people in favour of the project are net financial recipients and those who do not trust the EU are net contributors,it doesn’t actually take more than one or two brain cells to work out that when a country gives a great deal,only to see that contribution squandered in the worst way,to an institution that knows how to pay itself very well,and not have its accounts written off for at least 7 years.and is corrupt to its core.Why on earth would you extoll the virtues of such an organisation ,the EU is a disaster .

  58. avatar
    Matt dovey

    The eu never asked for it, don’t need or want it. I get nothing from it except a larger tax bill

  59. avatar
    Limbidis Adrian

    I am from Romania. The numbers are deceptive as many people here are not really well informed.
    They tend to blame the EU for every regulation that taxes them.
    I used to be pro EU, now i don’t know anymore.

    Don’t get this wrong, i am still FOR the EU project, but i don’t know if my idea of an United Europe can come to fruition in the form the union has taken thus far.
    They stray from the good ideas and into the old neo-liberalism of American thinking.

    That’s not the EU i want. America is a dumb and it would be sad to see the EU fall down that path.

  60. avatar
    Nuno Sousa

    Yes, the EU is a bastion of peace, and it should free itself from other countries that are highly influencial in the economy and create it’s own economy for the people.

  61. avatar

    @Ana Silva
    Charter of Human Rights adds nothing to the Convention of Human Rights which has existed since before the inception of the EU (Eurosoviet Union).

    And no, I do not trust the Eurosoviet Union. Everyone seems to want something they expect the likes of me to pay for.

    Eastern and Southern Europeans come to steal our jobs and undercut local workers here, driving wages downwards. Eurocrats want to continue tax exempt salaries and French politicians want other countries to pay for the soon-to-be bankrupt French welfare state and the massive debts France is hiding (contingent liabilities).

    This is why criminal Hollande wants fiscal union, to get us to pay for their pensions.

    No more of this nonsense.

  62. avatar
    Limbidis Adrian


  63. avatar
    Limbidis Adrian

    Nobody expects “the likes of you” to pay. Don’t paint yourself a martyr in this, we ALL pay for this, not just “the likes of you”.
    Typical british diva behavior,”Oh dear we are so paying for this” “Oh dear it’s just us who pull this union up the rest just leech us”…give me a break !

  64. avatar

    Public confidence in the European Union has hit rock bottom, a recent survey reveals. Since the onset of the euro crisis, Europeans have lost faith in the bloc, even in pro-European countries.

  65. avatar

    In the netherlands the eu is not wanted/trusted or asked for. But what people say want or write falls on deaf ears anyway. These are fanatical elite with an agenda. Elections are for the show, the winners are predetemined.
    What they want is our water/gas/oil/banks/military and worst of all our democracy and freedom. Who doesnt believe this is naive and should stop watching euronews ,the propaganda channel.
    Italian/greek/dutch and other elections had predetermined outcomes, all eurofanatics elected in one way or another.
    This is a bad road to walk folks.
    Politicians across europe are giving thier countries up little by little, and in most countries there is no legal way back anymore.
    Cameron/Rutte/Merkel and others are fudging the truth, they have lost thier countries already, why they dont tell the truth i dont know..
    Letland is the case and point , not wanted but shoved down your throat anyway.
    What is going on here people???
    If it were open, honest and transparent and you could say yes or no , well maybe, but its just not and that will be the undoing of the eu!

  66. avatar

    @Michele Pescolloni
    You want to be like the United States, not sure if if you know what’s going on in the U.S. right now, you may want to have a closer look. If you think the U.S. lives in peace??? WOW??? it’s really interesting to see how non- North Americans perceive the U.S. Just to be clear, you want to be MORE like that? Michele there’s a difference between BLING and reality, I just hope more young people in the world outside the U.S. DON’T think this way. The land of opportunity is LONG GONE my friend.

  67. avatar
    Zsolt Gabor

    How do you plan it Mihail via banks, or by tanks? They have already said “no thanks” twice.

  68. avatar

    The Crisis is an important catalyst of change. Europeans rightly insist that the EU institutions give an answer on three questions: (I) how much unity do we want and where should integration take place, (II) how can we make sure that this follows democratic rules, i.e. decision makers are accountable for their decisions, and (III) what is the right balance between solidarity and democracy.

    These answers have to come from the 500 million citizens and they have to be respected.

    I deeply believe that people have a long memory. I remember how my parents and grandparents lived and what they experienced – from WWII to poverty and from discrimination to structural change that changed the social and economic fabric of their hometowns. The “good old times” were not so terribly good and I have my problems with people who want to bring us back exactl there.

  69. avatar

    Love Europe, Hate the EU especially the ECB.
    EU is going to collapse. the only question is when exact.
    We need to charge the bankers like Iceland did.
    Educate yourself on this. I don’t want to tell you this. I want you to see it for yourself.

  70. avatar
    Jan de Jong

    It is clear that this EU is not going to continue. It is not realistic to expect that the richer countries can be used as milk cows. If further see the EU move in the direction of a federal union without democracy and unlimited powers over the countries. I find that a very dangerous and unacceptable development. Best is that the EU is dismantled to an organisation that takes care of common issues that can better be dealt with in EU and that powers are returned to the countries. It was a nice experiment but it failed horribly as a federal union is three steps too far.

  71. avatar
    Joachim Ott

    Dear @Jan de Jong, allow me that I challenge this view: What do you mean by “the richter countries can be used as milk cows”? If I take my own hime country – Germany – I state that for the time being not a single Euro has been paid. At the contrary: as a holder of 27% of the ECB’s capital the federal budget had even revenues from the crisis. Moreover, don’t forget exports within the EU and the Eurozone.

    Then, the talk of “no democracy” or “unlimited powers” is simply not true. You have a directly elected EP and you have a Commission that is approved by the EP after a hearing for each and every members (I don’t know how it is in your country, but in most Western European countries the trust of the head of government is good enough to make you a minister.

  72. avatar
    Sylvia Kotrotsou

    I stand somewhere in the middle. Yes Europe has offered many good opportunities but there are so many things as well going wrong. We need to find solutionσ to those problems or else this whole thing will go down..

  73. avatar
    Julian Krause

    Does the EU have a Vision? In my opinion the EU hasn’t a Vision people can fully identify with and trust on.
    In my humble opinion it is highest priority to define an understandable and tangible European charta of values – the Vision for Europe. It must be defined and approved by the people, and not by a selected group of well intended, highly intellectual, politicians.

  74. avatar
    Paul W.

    Fog in the English Channel. Europe cut off.

  75. avatar
    Luis Prenda

    Je crois, nous irons avoir une Union Europenne trés démocratique!

  76. avatar
    J. M. Abildgaard

    Do I trust the EU??? For the time being…absolutely not! With the breaches and slaughters due to the breaches of the ”free” movement, I don’t see any reason to trust the EU at all… MY World, we do NOT slaughter human beings!!! And, certainly not for money as seems very much to be the case now…with approximately 7 million peoples lives 100% destroyed by psychopathic European civil servants….a thing like this EU…this is called GENOCIDE….so come on EU…make a change on this if you want the trust of your own people….and, this is ALL EU Countries…each end everyone of you….

  77. avatar
    Boris Milanovic

    I don’t trust, as nor 90% of my age-fellas, 24, to EU as they didn’t gave what has been promised if we get rid of Milosevic’s regime. They said milliard’s are awaiting on border, we we’ll get on “white Schengen list” and Serbia’s worker CAN work without “visa” or “work permit” now that we started AIP (Association and Integration Process via negotiations, to which the pre-demand is to be a candidate country). Many IT engineers like me want out of this country, and if there is ANY EU company that’s looking for the ambitious 24 yr old IT Expert (in Linux and Windows server, being certified at IT and English, speaking and writing on a advanced level) please feel free to contact me on my mail: On the header of the mail put: “from the debate” so I could know it’s not a spam nor scam.

  78. avatar
    Michiel van Hees

    No, since the euro was introduced, the euro crisis was introduced too.
    The euro has stopped currency competition between various countries.
    This has the effect that on average money from rich countries goes to poor countries, killing competition between those countries. With this ‘one European market’ only big multionational companies profit, while the possibility to compete with other companies is taken away from smaller companies. Apart from that, there’s the scandal of Jean Claude-Juncker. I suspect this is a great example of what might be E.U.’s friend’s politics (possibly politicians, big companies, etc.)…

  79. avatar
    sylvie calvet

    Why is there NO referendum on Trans-Atlantic Commercial treaty ? when over 60% French citizens boycotted the last European elections for refusing it ? while Marine Le Pen turned the boycott to the advantage of the Frnt national by saying :” People have expressed themself ! Yes they did : but not by voting neither for her nor for the Front national : by boycotting the elections ! wich means that when people are being refused a referendum : there is No democracy but plutocracy , and their boycott turns to the advantage of extrem partis !

  80. avatar
    Drahomír Bilka

    I am Czech citizen. I am a teacher of English and history and I also fight for EU in my classes. But what shall I tell my children (12- 15 years of age) if they ask me “the EU concept is a very good project according to you, so WHY is Great Britain leaving this project”? Well, what should I say to this? Do I have any arguments to explain this? Please forget the political incomprehensible and complicated statements. I must explain this to children who have not been in any other countries and these children are under the influence of frustrated parents from the political environments they live in.
    It seems my children understand my arguments if they see the horror of wars that Europe had to face in all its history. And I am not afraid to show them what is the nationalism like in my class and what happens if people follow it.
    I am a teacher as I mentioned and my financial budget is very low and still I am going to do my project which is the trip to UK next week. I will stop in London and in front of the British Parliment I would like to remember the UK authorities that EU is a good project if you have it in your heart. After I would like to stop in some other countries and cities, Edinburg, Brusel, Berlin, Paris, Salzburg…. It will cost me my all my savings and to cut down my expenses I will sleep in the car. For European Member of Parliment it would be just a small part of his/her sallary so why don´t they do this? Please go and persuade the people in the street that United Europe is great project. Well I forget…you must follow your parties orders…and you are not there to promote the great ideas of United Europe…
    Some people here in a small town Sokolov where I live, say that I am crazy… Yes they are right I am crazy about the idea of United People of Europe and you British people do you remember what your Great politician said after the World War II?
    “We must build a kind of United States of Europe.”
    Winston Churchill

  81. avatar
    Julie Ward

    Given what’s happening in the UK right now, maybe no-one (remainers or leavers) trust the EU.. however, the EU do not make it easy to do so. Reform should have come long ago.

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