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EUROPEAN UNION

7 out of 10 Danes optimistic about future of the EU: poll

A new survey shows that Danes have become significantly more positive towards the EU in the past six months.

7 out of 10 Danes optimistic about future of the EU: poll
Photo: Iris/Scanpix

The study by EU survey programme Eurobarometer shows that the percentage of Danes who have a positive opinion of the EU has risen from 32 to 42 percent in six months, while the proportion of negative opinions has fallen from 23 to 17 percent.

The rest are neutral or responded ‘do not know’. 

Danes are also optimistic about the future of the EU, shows a new poll from Eurobarometer surveying 28,000 EU-citizens’ view of the union. 

Among Danish respondents, which total 1,016 people, seven out of ten answered that they are optimistic about the future of the EU. This makes Denmark one of the countries in the EU with the most optimists.  

The Eurobarometer survey also shows that the percentage of Danes who believe the EU is heading towards a brighter future has increased from 57 percent in autumn of 2016 to 70 percent in the most recent survey. 

Director of European Affairs at the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) Anders Ladefoged says the figures are very good news, writes dbibusiness.dk.

“The EU has in recent years suffered from an image crisis. There has been a lot of focus on the problems and almost none on the positive difference the EU makes. But the figures here indicate that there is an understanding among Danes that the EU helps create solutions that benefit Europeans,” Ladefoged told DI Business.

Danish support for the EU is further emphasised by a significant increase in the amount of Danes who say they have an overall positive view of the EU. 

Ladefoged says the positive trend may be an expression of Britain’s experience of leaving the EU as being anything but rosy. 

“Britain’s challenges highlight the fact that it is important to be a part of the EU.  Without a well-functioning and strong EU, it will be significantly more difficult for Danish export companies to sell their goods abroad and create growth and jobs at home,” said Ladefoged, adding that Danish exporters currently help to create about 775,000 Danish jobs. 

The most pro-EU country is, according to the Eurobarometer survey, Ireland, where 58 per cent of the respondents say they have a positive view of the European Union.

READ ALSO: Danish People's Party signals support for leaving EU

UKRAINE

UPDATED: Denmark’s government supports Ukraine EU candidacy 

Denmark’s government has said it will support Ukraine’s bid for EU membership after the European Commission deemed the country’s candidacy viable.

UPDATED: Denmark's government supports Ukraine EU candidacy 

Ukraine’s bid to be part of the EU got a majority backing in Danish Parliament on Friday after the European Commission backed the bid.

“It is really, really important that Europe opens the door for Ukraine, so that we can get started to ensure that Ukraine can be ready for EU membership,” foreign affairs spokesperson Michael Aastrup told newswire Ritzau.

Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said on Twitter that Denmark was looking forward to continuing cooperation with Ukraine on reforms.

The possibility for Ukraine to become part of the EU is conditional on Ukraine implementing reforms – on rule of law, oligarchs, human rights and tackling corruption – European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday. She added that “good work has been done.”

Candidacy status is a significant step to joining the EU but the whole process can take years.

“When a candidate’s status is granted, it is not the same as Ukraine being ready to join the EU. There are a large number of criteria to be met and there are a large number of outstanding ones that Ukraine lacks. These are some of the things that are being addressed”, Michael Aastrup said.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen will attend a meeting in Brussels next week where the recommendation from the European Commission will be voted and signed off by the EU’s 27 member states. France, Germany and Italy have also already backed Ukraine’s bid but the decision has to be unanimous.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said that status as a candidate for EU membership is vital to his country, while the country’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba has said the question could be decisive in the war to defend Ukraine from invasion by Russia.

READ MORE: Number of Ukrainian refugees working in Denmark triples in one month

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