Europe still divided on region's next steps: poll

5th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, May 5, 2006 (AFP) - Almost a year after French and Dutch voters rejected the EU's constitution, Europeans remain divided over how best to move ahead with the project, according to a poll released on Friday.

BRUSSELS, May 5, 2006 (AFP) - Almost a year after French and Dutch voters rejected the EU's constitution, Europeans remain divided over how best to move ahead with the project, according to a poll released on Friday.

The Eurobarometer survey, which questioned 24,750 Europeans from February 20 to March 24, failed to find any clear consensus on a way to move the 25-member bloc forward. Indeed, few ideas surfaced at all.

When asked about important factors that contribute to Europe's future, no single suggestion was supported by more than one in four people, apart from the idea that living standards should be comparable in all member states.

And even that idea won maximum support mainly because it was voted for in large numbers by people in the EU's ten newest — and least wealthy — states.

The idea of a common constitution was supported by 25 percent of respondents, while a scant 22 percent said having a common European language was most important.

Ironically, French and Dutch people were not the least supportive of the constitution, with 29 percent and 30 percent of respondents respectively nominating it as the most important factor for Europe's future.

Referendums in those two countries last year virtually killed off the blueprint and catapulted Europe into its worst crisis in 50 years.

Eastern European member states, Britain, Ireland, Portugal, as well as Austria and Finland — the two countries holding the EU's rotating presidency this year — were far more negative, with less than 20 percent of their people in favour.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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