European Union

Which countries feel they've benefitted from the EU?

People wave an European Union flag in front of the Palace of Culture during a EU parade in Warsaw May 15, 2005. A few hundred people marched through the Polish capital to celebrate European unity and express support for Ukraine's' EU ambitions before the Council of Europe Heads of State and Government Summit, held on May 16 and 17 in Warsaw. REUTERS/Katarina Stoltz PP05060270  PK/JOH

The EU has suffered intense doubt. But some countries, such as Ireland, feel that joining benefited them. Image: REUTERS/Katarina Stoltz

Niall McCarthy
Data Journalist, Statista
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Amid the UK's Brexit vote and rising right-wing populism across Europe, euroscepticism has never posed a greater threat to the EU. Despite the turmoil, majorities in most countries feel they have benefited from EU membership. According to the European Parliament, 90 percent of people in Ireland feel their country's decision to join the EU has paid off.

Back in 1973 before joining, Ireland was struggling to find its feet internationally amid strong economic dependence on the United Kingdom. In the years since it became an EU member, Ireland transformed its old antiquated and agriculture-centered economy into a modern one thriving on hi-tech industry. The European Commission has estimated that Ireland’s net gain from EU budgets has amounted to an impressive €44.6 billion since 1976.

Malta and Lithuania are close behind Ireland with 89 and 88 percent of people agreeing that EU membership has paid off for their countries. In Greece and Cyprus, people are far more pessimistic. 48 percent of Greeks and 45 percent of Cypriots feel they have not benefited from EU membership. Italy had the lowest level of agreement with only 39 percent feeling EU membership has paid off.

Image: statista
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