Europe’s economy as a whole and individual European economies have been sort of not good since the global financial crisis.
So we decided to take a deeper look at how Europeans feel about this.
Using data from the fall 2015 Eurobarometer report, for which fieldwork was conducted in November, we put together a chart showing Europeans’ perceptions of the EU economy as a whole compared with those of their own countries’ economies.
Respondents from major developed-market economies, including Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands, were more likely to say their national economy was “good.” By comparison, respondents from emerging-market European countries like Croatia, Romania, and Lithuania were less likely to say their national economy was good.
But things were a bit different for respondents’ thoughts on the European Union economy. Those in emerging-market economies were more likely to say the EU economy was “good,” while respondents from developed-market countries generally gave less positive assessments of the EU compared with their own economies.
This split is particularly interesting with respect to labor markets. Several emerging European countries that have more positive views of the EU overall also have insanely high unemployment rates (and even higher youth unemployment rates – at 29.7% in Bulgaria and a whopping 49.5% in Croatia). Young people in these countries tend to leave to find better opportunities in other parts of the EU (including the UK).
On the flip side, countries like Germany and the UK, which were less likely to give a more positive of assessment of the EU compared with their own countries, have much lower unemployment rates (and youth unemployment rates) and are often the dream destination point for unemployed people from other nations.
We should note, however, that this is just one of the many economic problems in the European Union and certainly not the sole driver of any of these sentiments.
And some folks were happy with neither. Respondents from Greece, France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy were not likely to give positive reviews of their own economies or the EU economy as a whole. (In terms of labor markets, it’s notable that all of these countries have relatively high unemployment and have even higher youth unemployment.)
We arranged the countries in terms of percent of respondents saying their own national economy was good minus the percent of respondents saying the EU economy was good – from greatest to least. Check out the full chart below.
- Andy Kiersz/Business Insider