Poll Influence

  • First poll to highlight the extent to which the German public supports the return of powers from Brussels.
  • Found that German voters have the least amount of trust in the European Commission and European Parliament of 13 national and EU institutions tested.
  • Highlighted that Germans believe that a British EU exit would be very damaging for Germany and EU, and want to keep Britain in the EU.
Yes 60%
No 25%
Don't know 15%

13 September 2013

German voters don’t trust the European Parliament and the European Commission

Of 13 domestic and European institutions tested, German voters trust the country’s Federal Constitutional Court (the Bundesverfassungsgericht) the most (71% of voters). They have the least faith in the European Parliament and the European Commission, which are only trusted by 33% and 30% of voters respectively. In contrast, the German government and parliament are trusted by 44% and 45% respectively. The Bundesbank has clearly suffered a reputational hit in the Eurozone crisis, with the same amount (47%) now saying they trust it as those who don’t. However, only 38% say they trust the European Central Bank.

Strong support for devolving powers from the EU to member states

By a margin of two to one (50% in favour, 26% against), German voters say the next German Chancellor should back the efforts to decentralise powers from the EU to the national, regional or local level.

Should_the_next_chancellor_back_the_efforts_by_some_European_politicians_to_decentralise_powers_from_the_EU_to_the_national_regional_or_local_levelShould the next chancellor back the efforts by some European politicians to decentralise powers from the EU to the national regional or local level

German voters support less Brussels involvement in at least eight EU policy areas

When various individual policies were tested a majority of Germans wanted less EU involvement in at least eight policy areas:

  • Six in ten voters (60%) think national parliaments should be given more powers to block unwanted EU laws (25% disagreed).
  • 61% thought decisions over regional development subsidies should only be made by national politicians rather than at the EU-level (24% tend to disagree).
  • 58% thought agricultural subsidies should be national (26% disagreed).
  • Six in ten voters (60%) said decisions over criminal justice, data protection and employment laws should be made by national politicians rather than at the EU level (26%, 27% and 24% disagree respectively).
  • Just over half (51%) think decisions on intra-EU immigration should be made at the national level (30% disagreed).
  • Fisheries, food standards and climate change were examples of areas where a majority of Germans appear to support continued EU involvement.
Don't know 17%
No 25%
Yes 57%

Strong support for keeping the UK in the EU

A majority (53%) said the UK leaving the EU would be very bad or bad for Germany’s economic and political interests (30% disagreed). 57% said the UK leaving would be damaging to the prestige and credibility of the EU – the same share who said that the next German government should actively strive to keep the UK within the EU.

Whilst 63% of voters said Germany and Britain could be strong allies in reforming the EU, 50% disagreed with the statement that “Germany and Britain are more natural allies in Europe than Germany and France,” while 33% agreed.

France still considered the most important ally for Germany

When asked to rank countries in order of their political and economic importance to Germany, France remains the uncontested leader being ranked first by 61% of respondents. The UK was a distant second being ranked first by 19%.

But Hollande is less popular: However, when asked to rank European leaders in order of how much voters  trust them, the largest share of respondents (30%) put David Cameron top, with 26% ranking Francois Hollande the highest, followed by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (ranked first by 18%).


Efforts to save the euro should not undermine the single market

67% of voters said decisions made to stabilise the euro should not be allowed to impinge on the EU’s common market or undermine countries who don’t share the single currency.

Methodology Note

YouGov Deutschland interviewed 1,010 adults online between 21 and 26 August 2013. Data were weighted to be representative of German adults aged 18+. Data were weighted to past vote recall. For a full break-down of the answers including demographical data and voting intentions: Read full report.

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