Vienna, 18 December 2006 - "The change in trend in the Austrians’ opinion of the EU heralded in by Austria’s EU Presidency, is continuing. Public approval of the European Union is slowly but steadily rising. I see this as a clear mandate for the Federal Government to consistently continue its policy of information and confidence-building," said Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, commenting on the latest Eurobarometer survey. "The fact that the clear majority of young people see participation in a common Europe as a good thing is a particularly positive sign," emphasised Plassnik.
Specific questions also yielded rising approval scores. "Austrians clearly support the idea of a strong, self-confident Europe on the world stage," Plassnik stressed. In questions of security, for instance, Austrians place special trust in Europe. 55% of the respondents were of the opinion that joint action by the Union was to be given preference over purely national action in the fields of defence and foreign policy as well as in combating crime. With regard to combating terrorism, the figure stood at 69%. Two thirds of the respondents also approve of participation in the European monetary union.
The results of the Eurobarometer survey largely coincide with those obtained in the latest study by the Austrian Society for European Policy; according to the latter 51% of Austrians see advantages in EU membership, which corresponds to an increase by twelve percentage points since March 2006.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
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