Wien, 5. May 2013 Press release

Lopatka: Clear majority pro EU membership and the EURO

69% of Austrians want to elect the President of the EU Commission directly

Vienna, 5 May 2013 – "If a referendum was held today, a large majority of Austrians would cast their votes in favour of EU membership and the EURO", State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka said. Every year, the Austrian Foreign Ministry commissions the GFK market research organisation with a study on what Austrians think about the EU; in this year's study, 59% of 1000 people interviewed between 11 and 19 April were against Austria's leaving the EU and 62% against abandoning the EURO. "A clear majority sees the future of our country within the EU and with the EURO as our currency", the State Secretary said.

Satisfaction with how the EU operates, however, is another story:

"The study shows that people view the EU as too complicated and too distant (64%). These are comments that I also heard in my discussions with employees on my DARUM EUROPA information tour last week in Tyrol and Salzburg. People wish for more information and more scope for co-determination. 69 percent, for example, are in favour of electing the President of the EU Commission directly. Nominating European-wide frontrunners for the elections to the European Parliament is a step in the right direction."

88% of the interviewees said that "Europe needs to step up cooperation during the crisis". An exit from the euro zone as demanded by some, however, is the complete opposite of this. The consequences for the Austrian labour market, economy and social system would be negative in the extreme; a fact that is also underlined by the most recent IHS study: 188,000 jobs would be lost in Austria by 2016 if the euro zone collapsed.

"Only 12 percent of Austrians think that the "abandon-the-euro" position held by Strache and Stronach is justified."

Austrians appreciate the following benefits they feel the EU brings them in particular: cheaper roaming fees and mobile phone charges (92 %), peace and security (85%), the common currency (84%), the internal market (79%) and the fact that the EU facilitates working and studying abroad (77%).

Contact:

Federal Ministry for
European and International Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3320
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213
abti3(at)bmeia.gv.at