Poll indicates people in Ireland strongly support EU trade deals and increase in EU defence and security co-operation while few support increased contribution to EU budget.
Dublin, 28 April 2020: An annual European Movement Ireland (EM Ireland) – RED C Research poll this year found that 75% of people in Ireland agree that EU trade deals with other countries around the world benefit Ireland, while just 27% surveyed concur that an EU-UK trade deal will be agreed by the end of 2020.
35% of those polled agree that EU countries, including Ireland, should contribute more to the EU budget – an important issue for the EU in the coming years, more so at present during the economic downturn expected from the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a drop from 58% in 2019 and 2018, who agreed with a similar question on the EU budget and Ireland’s contribution.
With a focus now on the COVID-19 pandemic and Europe at the epicentre of the global crisis, the annual EM Ireland ‘Ireland and the EU’ poll this year asked if the EU has responded well to the crisis: the response was split – 47% of those surveyed felt that it had and 46% that it had not.
This year’s poll also recorded a drop in support for increased Irish involvement in EU security and defence co-operation. Having polled 59% support in 2018, 58% in 2019, it has now fallen to 49% in 2020. A significant rise in ‘don’t knows’, from 8% up to 20%, may explain this drop, since those disagreeing with more Irish participation in EU security and defence cooperation also fell, from 34% in 2019 to 31% in 2020.
35% of respondents think EU countries should take in more refugees, some 53% disagree, although 43% are in favour of further EU enlargement. The EU announced in March that it would start membership talks with Albania and North Macedonia, while EU member Greece has been struggling with a large influx of refugees from the Syrian conflict via Turkey.
Opinions were this year divided on the subject of a united Ireland – 32% felt that there will be a united Ireland in the EU in the next ten years, 42% disagreed and 26% answered ‘don’t know’. This is down considerably from similar questions in previous years, with 44% in 2018 and 50% in 2019 agreeing that a united Ireland would be more likely in the wake of Brexit.
On the topic of taxation, only 17% of people felt that Ireland should give up its veto on tax in the EU and allow Member States to make decisions on tax by a majority vote. Almost one third of those surveyed answered ‘don’t know’, which suggests some room for further debate.
Commenting on the findings, Noelle O Connell, Executive Director of European Movement Ireland said,
“We were surprised by some of the results, which show that, despite a very healthy 84% wanting Ireland remain in the EU, there remains much to discuss and debate in relation to specific EU policies. In relation to the EU’s response to the current pandemic, the response was split. This probably in part reflects the EU’s lack of power on public health policies, which are primarily decided by national governments, and partly how the COVID-19 challenge is more of a marathon than a sprint.
“The high numbers of “don’t knows” to many of our questions this year, coupled with only one in three who felt that their voice is heard as a citizen of the EU makes it clear to me, and indeed for our ongoing work in EM Ireland, that there is a considerable need to improve and sustain public dialogue in Ireland on EU matters.”
Press Queries: Lisa Nic An Bhreithimh, Communications and Campaigns Manager
M: 087 950 3539 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
T: @emireland #EMIRedCPoll2020
84% agree that Ireland should remain as part of the EU.
75% agree that EU trade deals with other countries around the world benefit Ireland.
26% agree that there will be an EU-UK trade deal agreed by the deadline of 31 December 2020.
49% agree that Ireland should be part of increased EU defence and security co-operation.
35% agree that EU countries, including Ireland, should contribute more to the EU budget.
47% agree that the EU has responded well to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
35% agree that EU countries, including Ireland, should take in more refugees
32% agree that there will be a united Ireland in the EU in the next ten years.
17% agree that Ireland should give up its veto on tax at the EU table (allowing the 27 EU governments to make decisions on tax by a majority vote).
43% agree that the EU should continue to allow more European countries to join as member states.
33% agree that their voice is heard as a citizen of the EU.
43% agreed that they were aware of the EU’s plans to tackle the climate crisis, known as the ‘EU Green Deal’.
20% agree that I have heard of the Conference on the Future of the EU, which was launched in 2020 to discuss how to reform the EU.
- The full set of poll results are available at http://bit.ly/EMIIrelandandtheEUPoll;
- EM Ireland’s Executive Director, Noelle O Connell is available for interview and comment.Contact Lisa Nic An Bhreithimh on 087 950 3539;
- Methodology: the poll was carried out by RED C Research between the dates 20 – 25 March 2020 among a representative sample of 1,062 people aged 18 and over. An online panel, chosen randomly, were asked by RED C to Agree Strongly / Slightly, or Disagree Strongly / Slightly. Our results are grouped in the categories Agree, Disagree and Don’t Know;
- About European Movement Ireland: Founded in 1954, European Movement (EM) Ireland is the longest established Irish NGO working on European affairs. A non-partisan, independent, not-for-profit, membership-based organisation, EM Ireland works to develop the connection between Ireland and the rest of Europe. For more information, visit europeanmovement.ie .