Three quarters of Dutch feel like EU citizens

EU flags in front of the European Commission
EU flags in front of the European Commission Photo: sashk0/DepositPhotos

Of all Dutch, 77 percent feel like they are citizens of the European Union, according to the European Commission's Euro-barometer. That puts the Netherlands about in the middle of the EU countries.

Luxembourg is on top of this list, with 93 percent of citizens feeling like EU citizens. Germany is second with 88 percent and Spain third with 87 percent. Bulgaria is at the bottom of the list with 52 percent, followed by Greece and Italy where only 57 percent of citizens feel like EU citizens.

According to the Euro-barometer, trust in the EU is currently at its highest level since 2014. Lithuania leads this ranking, with 72 percent of its residents saying they have trust in the EU. Denmark is in second place with 68 percent, followed by Estonia in third with 60 percent. The Netherlands is again in the middle of the pack with 54 percent of Dutch trusting the EU. As can be expected with the Brexit looming, the United Kingdom is at the bottom of the list at 29 percent. 

Over 60 percent of Europeans are optimistic about the future of the EU, the highest level since 2009. In the Netherlands, 73 percent of Dutch are optimistic about the future of the EU, the fifth highest level of optimism after Ireland at 85 percent, Denmark at 79 percent, Lithuania at 76 percent and Poland at 74 percent. At the bottom of the list is Greece, with only 45 percent of citizens being optimistic, followed by the UK at 47 percent and France at 50 percent. 

Immigration and climate change are the main concerns in Europe, with 34 percent of Europeans worrying about immigration and 22 percent about climate change. In the Netherlands, 50 percent are worried about immigration and 33 percent about climate change. 

The Euro-barometer is a large-scale public opinion poll that is conducted twice a year on behalf of the European Commission. For the most recent report, researchers questioned 27,464 people - about a thousand per EU member state - about how they feel about the EU. The respondents are randomly selected and adjusted for representativeness.