ÖGfE-Survey: Austrians value the EU’s role in fostering mutual understanding but are critical towards its policy in the field of migration and asylum

A majority of Austrians is convinced that the country is treated in a fair way by the EU-institutions and knows how to ensure its interests. Austrians have a positive view of the Union’s role in fostering mutual understanding but criticize its policy in the fields of migration and asylum. They perceive their country as solidary within the EU, a current ÖGfE-survey (November/December 2017) says.

53 percent of the respondents say that Austria is treated in a fair way by the European institutions. 39 percent think the opposite (8 percent “don’t know | no answer). 57 percent agree with the statement that the European Union is “often used as a scapegoat by our politicians to detract from own shortcomings”, while 36 percent do not share this view.

88 percent say that the country plays a “rather” (28 percent) or “very positive” role (60 percent) when it comes to show intra-EU-solidarity. Only one in ten respondents disagrees with this view (9 percent “rather negative” | 1 percent “very negative role”).

Respondents assess Austria’s European performance quite positively: Six out of ten say that the country’s European politics have a positive effect on Austria as a business location (60 percent) resp. the country’s economic welfare (63 percent). 27 percent resp. 29 percent see its effects negatively. 55 percent say that it adds to Austria’s political weight, while 31 percent disagree.

62 percent say that the EU plays a “very” (10 percent) or “rather” positive role concerning mutual understanding and cooperation between the EU member states. 29 percent disagree (25 percent “rather” | 4 percent “very negative role”). The same holds true for the EU’s role in safeguarding democracy and human rights (63 percent “positive” | 27 percent “negative” role) and Austria’s security (59 percent vs. 32 percent).

The Union’s asylum- and migration policy is seen differently. 61 percent say that the EU is playing a “negative role” in this area while only 29 percent think of it as positive.

The current survey was conducted from 16 November to 5 December 2017 by the Sozialwissenschaftliche Studiengesellschaft (SWS) on behalf of ÖGfE. 512 persons were questioned via telephone (Austrian population from the age of 18 / weighted according to gender, age and education). Maximum margin of fluctuation approx. +/- 4,3 percent. Difference to 100 percent due to rounded values respectively (*) „don’t know / no answer.)


The survey is part of the Europe for Citizens project Anti EU-rhetoric versus own national interests? National populism and its reception in  Central Europe”.