Czechs least happy living in the EU

A survey shows Czechs even less satisfied than people in the UK

Czechs are the least happy about living in the European Union, according to a report by Eurostat. Some 36 percent of Czechs disagreed with the statement “you are happy living in the EU.” The EU average was 16 percent. By comparison, the UK, which is in Brexit talks to leave the bloc, had only had 25 percent of people disagreeing they were happy to live in the EU.

As far as agreeing with the statement, Czechs were second from last, with 58 percent saying they were happy living in the EU. Hungary had 57 percent.

The discrepancy comes from people who don’t know or said the concept does not apply to them. The EU average was 78 percent agreeing. The UK had 69 percent in agreement.

Luxembourg was most happy, at 97 percent agreeing and 2 percent disagreeing. Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden made up the top five for agreement on being happy to live in the EU.

“In 20 countries, respondents are now more likely to agree they are happy living in the EU than they were in 2012, with the largest increases observed among respondents in Portugal, Hungary, and Cyprus. In contrast, respondents in five EU Member States are now less likely to agree, most notably in Slovakia,” the Eurostat report said.

In the Czech Republic, even though satisfaction was low, it was 5 percentage points higher than in 2012. The number of people who disagreed that they were happy dropped 6 percentage points.

For the EU in general, respondents aged 15 to 24 are the most likely to agree they are happy living in the EU, particularly compared to those aged 55 and over, Eurostat said.

The longer people remained in education, the more likely they are to agree.

Those agreeing also had fewer financial difficulties than those who were unhappy.

The higher respondents place themselves on the class scale, the more likely they are to agree as well.

Respondents who have a positive image of the EU are also much more likely to agree they are happy living in the EU compared to those with a neutral or negative image, Eurostat said.

Only 84 percent of Czechs say they are happy with family life, while 15 percent disagreed. This put the country tied with Hungary for fourth from the bottom in satisfaction. The EU average was 91 percent agreeing they were happy with family life and 8 percent unhappy.

Some 64 percent of Czechs agree they are happy with their occupations, while 20 percent disagree. The EU average was 64 percent agreeing and 15 percent not. People in Greece were least happy with their jobs, at 37 percent. Irish respondents were most happy at 84 percent agreeing.

Czechs were close to the EU average on whether the European Union project offers a future perspective for Europe’s youth. Some 64 percent agreed while 28 percent disagreed. The EU average was 66 percent in agreement and 22 percent disagreeing.

Czechs were among those in 20 EU member states where at least half of all respondents say comparable living standards would be the most helpful for the future of Europe. Some 66 percent of Czechs said so, while the EU average was 52 percent.

People could choose up to two answers for what was most important for the EU’s future. Only 8 percent of Czechs saw the introduction of the euro currency across the EU as most helpful, 10 percent chose an EU economic government, 12 percent picked a common army, 17 percent chose comparable education standards, and 39 percent said a well-defined external EU border.

Czechs were among those most likely to see immigration as the most serious issue facing the EU, with 54 percent stating that, second only to Malta.

The survey was carried out between Sept. 23 and 2 Oct. 2, and interviews were conducted in the 28 Member States of the European Union.

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