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One-third of people in Europe say they don’t feel European

Workers hang a giant European Union flag.
Reuters/Albert Gea
There’s no covering up the cracks.
  • Jason Karaian
By Jason Karaian

Global finance and economics editor

This article is more than 2 years old.

The European Union was built on the principle of an “ever closer union” between its members. But not everyone who lives in the EU today is feeling the closeness.

This is a headache for eurocrats in Brussels, as well as national leaders who want to develop coherent, common policies to match the bloc’s enormous economic heft. Unfortunately for them, voters blame Brussels for a variety of ills, turning out in droves to cast ballots for anti-EU parties during the recent election for the European Parliament, one of the main organs of EU power.

And a new survey by the European Commission found that a third of people in the EU—equivalent to roughly 170 million—don’t feel like they belong to the broader European community. Fewer than half of Greeks, Italians, and Bulgarians say that they feel like citizens of the EU, and its no surprise also to find the  increasingly euroskeptic UK towards the bottom of the list.

Germany, meanwhile, is near the top of the ranking of European-feeling Europeans, alongside the Maltese, Luxembourgers, and Finns.

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