The “Allianz Pulse” is an annual report to check the pulse in Germany, France and Italy. For its third edition, a representative sample of 1000 people in each country was surveyed about their views on political and economic issues, as well as their expectations for the future.
Building back stronger?
Our participants don’t see programs such as Next Generation EU as a game-changer. Only 27% of all respondents believe that the Covid-19 crisis will strengthen solidarity in the EU (Germany: 23%, France: 27%, and Italy 30%; see table). Part of the explanation could be information deficits. As many as 26% of all respondents stated that they had not yet heard of the programs. This proportion reached 33% in France and 30% Germany; in Italy, on the other hand, the biggest beneficiary of EU funds, it was only 15%. Against this backdrop, the overall approval rate of only 30% for the EU measures combating Covid-19 comes as no surprise. As a result, EU skepticism hasn’t crumbled yet. As before, there are more respondents that see more disadvantages than advantages in EU membership. Only, in Germany, there is a slight majority of EU proponents. The EU remains unloved by many, despite the billion euro of grants to support the recovery. The dissatisfaction runs deep. It is fueled by the perceived gap in national economic performance. While two thirds of respondents in France or Italy are gloomy about the future, only around one third of German respondents feel the same. This lack of economic convergence is frustrating – and this frustration is directed against the EU. It’s not entirely fair but old beliefs die hard.