This desk research is dedicated to the major changes in European public opinion with regard to the EU since 1973, the year in which the Eurobarometer was introduced.
The results are presented on a timeline, in order to measure the perception Europeans have of the EU through its major steps, being institutional, political, economic and social. This is the third edition of the first version published in 2014 and updated with the results of the 2015 and 2016 Eurobarometer surveys.
The main findings about public opinion's evolution for over 40 years (from 1973 to 2016) show how it may evolve both upwards and downwards.
NB: Please note that the analysis is based on the European average of the Member States which made up the EU at the time the various surveys were conducted. This average is weighted in order to reflect the population of each of the Member States. Readers should bear in mind that in today's Europe of 28 Member States, the six most populated countries make up 70% of the EU average.
The European Parliament regularly commissions surveys on public opinion in the 28 Member States.
These surveys cover a wide range of issues, focusing primarily on the European citizens' knowledge of the European Parliament, their perceptions of the EU and its main challenges, their expectations in view of the European elections, the European Parliament and the European integration in general.
The analysis of the results is meant to ensure the most complete overview of national evolutions, regional specificities, as well as socio-demographic differences and historical trends.