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Irish Optimism Toward EU Future Remain Strong, Eurobarometer Report Reveals

The recently released Autumn 2023 Eurobarometer Report for Ireland discloses that over 80% of Irish citizens maintain a positive outlook on the future of the European Union. Ireland continues to lead as the member state with the highest optimism, surpassing the EU average of 61%. Published by the European Commission Representation in Ireland, the report notes a slight dip in overall positivity, with 64% of Irish respondents expressing a positive view of the EU, down from 71% in Spring 2023.

Despite this decrease, Ireland shares the top position with Portugal, outpacing the EU average by 20%. The report also highlights the trust Irish citizens place in the EU, with almost 60% expressing trust compared to the EU average of 47%. Additionally, a significant 62% of Irish respondents claim to be well-informed on European matters, demonstrating a substantial lead over the EU average of 36%.

Barbara Nolan, Head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland, commented on the enduring pro-European attitudes of the Irish public. She attributed the slight decline in positivity to concerns about housing, the increased cost of living, the war in Ukraine, and disinformation. Nevertheless, Nolan emphasised Ireland’s persistent optimism and its notable positivity towards immigration and EU enlargement.

The research delves into attitudes on various fronts, revealing that 70% of Irish citizens support a common EU foreign policy, and 58% are in favour of further EU enlargement. Both figures, although showing a slight decrease from Spring 2023, remain higher than the EU averages of 51% and 52%, respectively. Additionally, 75% of Irish respondents believe immigrants contribute positively to their country, exceeding the EU average of 52%.

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