Things are looking up for Europe. After years of austerity, high unemployment, and sputtering national economies, a sense of optimism is finally returning to the continent. According to the Spring 2018 Eurobarometer survey, a majority of Europeans (58%) are now optimistic about the future of the EU and feel good about the state of the economy.

The only places where a majority of people polled were pessimistic about the EU’s future were the UK (which is currently embroiled in the Brexit process), and Greece (where the EU is associated with punishing austerity measures). Optimism is highest in Ireland at 84%, and in Portugal, Malta, Lithuania, and Denmark, where it hovers around 70%.

Europeans are also feeling more confident about the economy, with a majority of respondents in all but three Member States now saying the EU’s economic situation is good. For the first time since 2007, more people in Europe feel positive about their country’s national economic situation than feel negative.

Yet, despite the optimism, there are clouds on the horizon. The threat of a trade war between the US and China has economists worried; Italy has a new populist government, and there is a real risk of an almighty bust-up over EU debt and deficit rules (not to mention immigration); and, on top of everything, the European Central Bank has recently announced an end to the quantitative easing programme that has helped prop up the EU economy since 2015. So, there are still plenty of reasons to temper optimism with caution.

Are you optimistic about the future of the EU? Do you feel that European Union’s economy is headed in the right direction? What are your biggest concerns about the future of Europe? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts!

IMAGE CREDITS: (c) BigStock – Kasia Bialasiewicz

83 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    I’m guarded. There are good and bad signs. Old problems continue festering and the can continues to be kicked down the road. The EU still feels less cohesive now than before the crisis.

  2. avatar

    Yes.. crisis are just crises and they are natural curves only .. which allow us to change, adjust, adopt. etc

    • avatar

      Die Eu ist ein Haufen korrupter cholerischer Sorosorientierter Politiker. So was brauchen wir nicht
      The EU is a bunch of corrupt manages politicians. We don’t need this

  3. avatar

    Yes..crises are just crises and they are natural curves only .. which allow us to change, adjust, adopt. etc

    • avatar

      Die Eu ist ein Haufen korrupter cholerischer Sorosorientierter Politiker. So was brauchen wir nicht
      The EU is a bunch of corrupt manages soros politicians. We don’t need this

  4. avatar

    Yes, far right and Eu critic parties will fix the immigration issues and will get rid of the EU dictators. After that EU will can be reformed to a true democracy with true diversity by seperation and true freedom, health and safety.

    • avatar

      You already had all of that and you gave it away to the unelected elite in Brussels, its called the Nation State.

    • avatar

      Ivan you can go to Russia and enjoy that there if you don’t like the EU.

  5. avatar

    No, leaving apart the external enemies, Putin and Trump, the way that the EU is being managed is being a massive disaster. Austerity, lack of democracy, the Euro, unemployment, the behavior of some eastern countries, the asymmetrical inmigration inside the countries…. And the EU doesn’t react, doesn’t do anything to reverse the situation and to improve our lifes. People angry and frustrated involve negative feelings toward the EU. Another day Putin and Trump.

    • avatar
      Paul Knife

      I get Trump because of his Trade war but what has Putin done?
      And please don’t repeat the Crimea bullshit propaganda.

    • avatar

      Crimea bullshit propaganda? Are you retarded? People there literally fight against Russians, and Federation is planning on building a bridge to Crimea. What of those FACTS you don’t get. A lot of people emigrated from warzone to Poland, I have had a pleasure to talk with few of them, and they couldn’t fake their sadness and confusion just like that.

  6. avatar

    No I am not optimistic. I forsee the EU support from the people collapsing unless it becomes more social EU-wide. Equal minimum wage and benefits. No losing access to social benefits for travelling and working within the EU. A GMI to supplement the low wages to be competitive with global slave or robotic labour. Certain EU countries seeming more attractive because they offer free education [for people] or cheap labour [for business]. Only big money and big business wins or gains in the EU. It is time to give back to the people who tolerate you now and who may divorce you in the future if you don’t start listening and acting. If there is enough money to build moonbases and subsidise resource corporations there is enough money for the people’s basic needs.

    • avatar

      The EU has never had widespread support from the peoples in it, hence the pathetic turnout of 28% of people who voted for pro EU MEP’s in 2014.

      Wait until next year and the biggest group in the European Parliament could well be an anti EU group… If the EU lasts that long obviously lol.

    • avatar

      Ivan It is up to the EU if it will last. It either reforms pro-people or dies a slow or sudden death.

    • avatar

      Ivan Burrows It is up to the EU if it will last. It either reforms pro-people or dies a slow or sudden death.

    • avatar

      Ivan Burrows, when will see how big is the income/year to be sure that they will become pro-EU ;)

  7. avatar

    Juncker, Schulz, Verhofstadt, Mogherini etc are the shame of this beautiful continent

  8. avatar

    I’m REALLY optimistic: EU will be abolished by 2025. Wunderbar!

  9. avatar

    Yes. It’s the best hope a lot of the smaller member-states have of having functional economies, being relevant on the world-stage, and of there being a place in the world for european values such as democracy and human rights.

  10. avatar

    Global politics slowly but is changing. Political leaders and humans are getting smarter. All the disputes that arise should be resolved by peaceful means thus avoiding wars, violence etc. All should be united on this peaceful train EU. The world is changing change and you, live in the world without war, there is enough space for all of us.I’m optimistic about the future of the EU when we are united we are more powerful!

    • avatar

      The world is indeed changing but your problem is the pointless EU is stuck in the last century and has no place in this one. The sooner it is consigned to the dustbin of history the better for all concerned.

    • avatar

      Ivan if it is made substitution of some compilers of the EU politics, would it be different?

    • avatar

      Lulzim Nice! I hope to be as you say, but the main problem is the gap between poor and rich people, or countries, all over the world.

      Anyway if we respect the directives of EU, it is obvious that the diference will increase. Because all this are in the favour of big industry interest from western countries.

    • avatar

      Ivan is an agitator, ignore him.

  11. avatar

    what worries me, is countries going along doing what’s convenient to them
    when they know some other country is
    taking the brunt of the problems.I don’t
    think that’s not the vision of Europe the founders had in mind

    • avatar

      Well obviously. why would one care about another country?

  12. avatar

    Who does know how the €uro currency has been projected cannot feel safe about €urope.
    Bitch please.

  13. avatar

    No, I’m not.Portugal gets money from the E.U. for 30 years and we have an income of 70 % of the european average.

    • avatar

      But you have one of the best roads, and everything is much more affordable than in the counties with higher standard. I’ve been to Portugal twice — lovely country! :)

    • avatar

      It’s only aparence beneffit or Portugal catch a good period for this. But I believe that is not too far than Romanian.

      At first seems that Romania has more money from EU than contribuite toate UE Budget. But:

      1) Ar least 50%, i believe more, those money return to development countries of UE, first Germany.

      2) Directly from state and local authorities Budget we spent money for autobuses, airplane, medicine technology, IT technology, drugs and many others for industry products from Germany, France, Italy, Holand and so one.

      Also, for former est-european countries, we don’t have historical capital because it was a decision of Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin like Romanian national capital to be finished in ’45 ?!?!

      So, If EU don’t understand that we need to invest in industry first, the gap of development will increase.

  14. avatar

    No, for many reasons…

    1)Dont support the values of EU. Traditionalism is more important to me. EU opposes traditional social values. Small birthrates problem and falling population and you think mass immigration is the solution? Unacceptable.

    2)The corrupt politicians who take money from FOREIGN billionaires, foundations and ngos. They represent no one but themselves.

    3)The mass immigration. Clearly there is more crime. More people grabbing womans purses, more segregated ghetto areas, occasional terrorist attacks, the sexual violence/raping, etc. Does the EU have no shame? Why replace the native population? Can you image how the victims within Europe feel?

    4)EU is weak. As Stephen Walt at Harvard University said:
    “Today; NATO’s purpose is to keep the Americans in charge, the Europeans compliant, and the Brussels bureaucracy busy.”

    5)EU cant work. The differences between certain countries values is massive.

    6)Many youth (not all) seem brainwashed by postmodernist, cultural marxist views.

    7)Certain countries are looked down on (values, economics, size, domestic policies, etc). Germany and France have to much power and with poor leadership.

  15. avatar

    Do you mean with the rise of the people in support of populist parties across the EU and the never ending migrant crisis about to bring Merkel government to an end then yes, I am far more optimistic the antidemocratic EU will fall :)

  16. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    Optimistic about a political EU cum EU Republic? No- never! EU economics only in the EU?- Lets talk!

    “33,130 people were interviewed”. Well, such vague outcome using an unspecified and small sample size with so many variables mean pretty little.

    Would ALL eligible voters have access to a well designed and secure electronic voting system (“direct democracy”) such surveys could become more meaningful and accurate- not meaningless!

    If people need hope- many still seek it in spirituality or a “church”- not a political concept. But, beggars can’t be choosers. Enough for the EC to jump for joy and market such results as EU good news- to justify building stone upon stone to reach the EU heaven!

    What coincidence such news arrive Just In Time (“JIT”). Of course, one needs plenty of good news before elections- real, processed or fake- isn’t it?

    Is that a believable survey? Or the last breath of collapsed UK PR firm Bell Pottinger?

  17. avatar
    John Costigane

    The EU liberal structure has shrinking support due the rise of populism. This can only be remedied when the latter group has political representation at the EU level. This would be an adversarial relationship typical of a country’s realities.

    A European Republic (USE) could accommodate both groups, and others. A president of suitable quality and having liberal or populist backing could hold the reins of power.

    Populism is a reality and the EU needs to accept it before the necessary change can be achieved.

  18. avatar

    yes, only if social welfare policies stopped and fades away

  19. avatar

    Es gibt halt Lander die normal denkende Politiker haben .Putin und Trump sind nicht das Problem in Europa Soros korrupte Politiker sind das Problem und ihr linken Bazillen konnt euch verpissen
    There are countries that have normal thinking politicians. Putin and trump are not the problem in Europe soros corrupt politicians are the problem and their left germs could piss you off

  20. avatar

    Yes! With all negativities i believe eu is the only peaceful way ahead!

  21. avatar

    Not hopeful unless the sort out the migrant issue in a fair way soon.

  22. avatar

    If we are still coming here that ways ; the migration crisis could inevitably spell the end of the EU.
    [SOS ] , Soth Europe.

  23. avatar

    No penny for the DEAD guy (EU aka German Union) ⚰ Peoples of Europe, except for most Germans (at least for now) will soon demolish this inhuman, neoliberal and inhuman EU “project” because this paranoia leads nowhere! Brexit was the beginning of your end and you all know it Only some Germans see Merkel as their chance to take revenge for what Hitler and Kaiser didnt manage for their nation in the bloosheds of WW2 and WW2 but in vain… Führerin Merkel is already in the trap which she was preparing for others! So long loosers

  24. avatar

    Не!Какъв съюз е това?За сигурността си разчита на САЩ,Не единен по нито един важен въпрос,богат но изоставащ без тежест в световната политика и.т.н Съюз е само на хартия и няма изградено самосъзнание за общност в широките маси от членовете му и .т.н За кое да сме оптимисти за:работни вечери,декларации,директиви,колебливи действия,мудна и тежка администрация,лакатушкане в крайности и секурализъм,педерастия и двоен аршин като предпочитана политика!Не мерси такъв съюз е ни кому непотребен,а най вече на трезво мислещите!:)
    No! No! What Union is that? For Security, it relies on the United States, not unified on any important issue, rich but without weight in world policy, the excetera union is only on paper and there is no self-awareness of a community in the broad masses of its members. What to be optimistic about: working dinners, declarations, directives, hesitant actions, slow and heavy administration, lakatuškane in extremes and secularism, buggery and double yardsticks as a preferred policy! No, thank you, such an alliance is who we are useless to, and most of all.

    • avatar

      Yes, we need to stop Balkan countries joining the European Union. Bulgaria & Romania cause many problems. 😂😂

    • avatar

      Absolutely my dear friend.We don’t need hypocritical union without real value system

  25. avatar

    No, I am not. Nut I am pessimistic about the future of humanity in general.

  26. avatar
    Paul Knife

    As a Swiss seeing your comments I am glad we never joined. You people don’t know what you want. At least with the nation State Switzerland we know exactly what we have because it has proven itself over hundreds of years, a democratic, free country that is not involved in wars and with one of the highest qualities of life in the World.

  27. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    The future of the EU will either be NO future or indeed a future whereat the EU is much changed ie it is more democratic, more accountable, less German and France focussed and too and perhaps most of all ‘de-powered’.

  28. avatar
    catherine benning

    Are you optimistic about the future of the EU?

    No, of course not, although where there is life in human exceptionalism there is optimism. The EU is stultified by its corrupt and incompetent leadership.Until our people decide they will not accept more betrayal of this kind, optimism is on hold.

    I do believe in European peoples. I do not believe in European Tony Blair’s. Which, as you can see from this picture, all are toward those referred to as Bilderberger’s.

  29. avatar

    Im optimistic about the future of Europe . Right and in some cases far right party’s will govern , mass immigrations of economic migrants will be halted . The euro project will be abandoned as will political integration . The future just might turn out OK .

  30. avatar

    How can small states of Europe confront the pressure coming from the single superpower on war trade? How can small states can handle influx of refugees from Africa and Middle East when the US policy continues to destabilize the regions?

  31. avatar

    If EU can stand up for its own interests rather than that of the US, EU’s future should be very optimistic because the US is a declining superpower, without EU support, US would not be able to stir up instability. EU can only prosper with a peaceful environment can be secured.

  32. avatar

    Trade war might be used as a tool to force EU participation in US Middle East war such as in Syria and Iran. EU should be fighting for peace and its own prosperity rather than US hegemony. If EU leaders can see clearly what is good for EU, we can be optimistic about the future of EU.

  33. avatar
    jane tse

    EU is found on grounds of collective security. Using collective effort to avoid the recurrence of a third devastating world war. Economic integration of member states made war a bad option or even not an option at all, for the opportunity cost is too high. The prosperity EU member states have been enjoying does not come from the heaven, it is the collective strength that allows EU enterprises to survive and prosper in the turbulence of the global era. It is also the collective strength that have protected EU from aggression. In this era of hegemonic decline, when everyone is talking about an hegemonic war, when a trade war in a global scale has been ignited, EU has more than ever pressing need to stay together. I am very sure that the UK is feeling even more pressure at this moment for it has to confront the US alone.

  34. avatar

    Yes, it will remain the best place to live.

  35. avatar
    Bert van Santen

    No, the sooner we`ll have the #EC 2.0 the better it is for social and financial reasons. Hopefully the #EC 2.0 brings North and South back together again, everyone responsible for it`s own financial situation, instead of the #EU situation with the #Transferunion

  36. avatar

    The EU has no future, it has proved to be an absolute failure of a political project, divisive, deceitful in its origin, and dysfunctional in its operation. It has destroyed economies, cultures and countries in its wake and should never have been allowed to develop other than as a trading club. The fact that it only survives by printing 60 billion Euros a month adding to its enormous cumulative debt of trillions and run by the most inept, useless, delusional and undemocratic commissioners who are nothing more than overpaid gangsters. Its prime directive being the dissolution of nation states only to become a nation state is nonsensical. It has a flag, an anthem and wants militarization, people need to wake up to this dictatorship Orwellian nightmare in the making and shut it down. The majority of people across Europe don’t want it, yet time and time again it is forced upon them. Hopefully Italy will leave leave the Euro and bring about a Italexit along with other countries to bring about its inevitable and desired demise thus removing the problems it keeps creating. The EU is not Europe! One is a collection of amazing countries and beautiful people, the other is a failed political construct. For the sake of democracy and world the EU must be terminated.

    • avatar

      You are very wrong. Without EU, small European states would not have been survived the financial crises in the 1970s and 2008. Even worse, small states would not be in very unfavourable situation when bargaining on trade deal with big economies such as China, US and the ASEAN group. Small states in Europe, particularly those in the more advanced Western Europe, are economies competing with each other for markets on technology and agricultural products. Price would only raise to the bottom when small states without bargaining power is bargaining with China, the US, ASEAN, India or Saudi Arabia, etc. Can you not see the size of EU now? By forming the EU, all small states are protected under a big umbrella and enjoying the fruits collectively.

  37. avatar

    If EU failed to exist, Europe will immediate come into a very chaotic situation by competing with each other, forming secret alliance with each other…It returns immediately to the pre-World War I Europe period and waiting for the destruction of the Third World War, as you all have seen that Ukraine is trying to draw NATO into military conflict with Russia. The US has announced to withdraw from the mid-range missile treaty and installing more missile at the door step of Russia. Russia has also announced taking states allowing the US to install missile as the target. Target for war? Of course, pre-emptive strike. History will repeat. The US will wait for the whole Europe in war and having millions of Europeans being killed before entering the war. The death of hundreds millions of civilians and soldiers would again sacrifice for a second century of American hegemony. Fortunately, China is a rising power and it does not like war. It’s better to do business with China and enjoy a huge market of 13 billion rather than dying in war. As Angela Merkel has said, Europe ought to cooperate with China in the space technology. In a few years’ time, China’s space station would be the only existing station. Time has changed. It is time to think differently.

  38. avatar

    When now the declining US with a president who is doing everything for the US benefit by betraying its long term allies all over the world. It is the best opportunity to strengthen Europe with collective effort i.e. a united Europe representing by EU. A disintegrated Europe and small European states would only submit to the command of a declining hegemon, which means war. Even in peace the US has never stopped waging wars. When now it is becoming very weak and glory fading, the US is definitely tend to wage war. War or peace? It is in the hand of the people. A united Europe and collective security is the only way European people can escape from the recurrence of a third devastating world war.

  39. avatar
    Leo Giurca (Romania)

    I think that european countries should make their security better and also the countries which are in EU must colaborate more because if they all will be more united the economy in EU will be much better and european people will live in better conditions.

  40. avatar
    Bianca Georgescu(Romania)

    As the times change,people do too. Things can get bad or good  because of many factors like leaders,new rules and people change their minds about specific topics.

    So we can all hope for better times to come and a thriving Europe.

  41. avatar

    This should not be a question but a collective goal to achieve. As we can see the G20 is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the EU. The only ASEAN country in the G20 is Indonesia. Vietnam and Singapore are invited as guests of the summit. How about other small ASEAN states? They are being ignored. How can their voice can be heard? They are represented by the ASEAN. Equally, France, Italy, Germany and the UK are members of the G20, which is, voice of small European states would never be heard in the international community without EU.

  42. avatar

    When Denmark’s foreign intelligence unit is helping the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on senior officials of EU member states including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. How can we be optimistic about the future of the EU? If EU wants to survive and protect Europe from recurrence of the two great wars, EU must stop and think in greater depth of the allegiance of member states and the consequence of including new members at its initial stage of nation-building only. At this early stage of nation-building, newly emerged democracy is very vulnerable to external force which would lead to civil war and even disintegration. Acceptance of such member state such as Ukraine, it would unavoidably lead EU into very undesirable and dangerous military involvement with regional big powers with dying of EU citizens and influx of refugees <>

  43. avatar

    As a union of independent states and leading by elected leaders of all independent states, I do not know why EU cannot be made independent decision. Leaders are people leading the public. But in many democracies, political leaders are just followers of public opinion for votes. Public opinion is representing a big variety and infinitive individual desires. Even worse, public opinion can be manipulate and misled. Political leaders following public opinions would get lost. Political leaders ought to lead public opinion with reasons so as to enlighten the general public. For a majority of the public are ignorance to government and politics. They do not have vast resources support for rational decision making.

  44. avatar

    Public opinion can be good only when it is not being controlled and manipulated for hidden political agenda. As what we can see in the Hong Kong during the 2019 riots, fake news and edited misleading photos/videos had been circulating in huge volume. People were trapped at home by the riots. Luckily, HK is a very small city where the circulation of information is highly efficient and cheap. Truth can be revealed instantly. My experience traveling around Europe is that internet service is quite expensive and even though with a local sim card and service is paid, we cannot access normally to the internet in some areas. China’s successful alleviation of poverty is definitely benefited by the cheap communication services. For more than 20 years, the Chinese government has been advocating fibre-glass for all households in the rural and remote hill area. In the late 20 century, Tsinghua University used satellite to provide regular distance learning and teaching support for almost 300 poorest villages until the early 21st century, when all isolated rural schools were abandoned and all children were able to acquire good quality education at boarding schools in the counties. Now, when travelling across deserts and remote areas at Xinjiang, we can still see signs indicating fibre-glass are still laying along the highways. 5G base stations of China Mobile or others are erected high on the hills and plains. It has just been announced 916000 base stations are erected in China, amazing. When political parties of the West are trying to drag the feet of the governing party in the West by disputing for disputes, the Chinese government is working hard to achieve their goals one after one…Can we see the difference? Government should be for the goods of the people not that of the political parties and politicians.

  45. avatar

    How come we can optimistic about the future of the EU if its member states continue to act on American interest instead of that of EU? When Lithuania is joining the US to threaten national integrity of China, EU is applauding and fueling the process instead of helping small states to resist foreign intervention of domestic politics and prevent them from dragging into conflict between great powers so as to grow solidarity of EU. When EU urgently required to fight a new round of epidemic outbreak and facilitate economic recovery, EU is wasting time and resources to help the American great again. It is not NATO suffering from brain-dead, EU is developing the same problem.

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