Oct 21, 2018

Support for EU membership weakest among Italians

A new Eurobarometer survey finds that of all 28 EU members states, support for membership in the bloc in a Brexit-like referendum is weakest in Italy, where a Euroskeptic government is currently in power.

Adapted from Parlemeter 2018; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The big picture: The EU has seen a rise in Euroskeptic parties leading up to and continuing after the Brexit vote. But even as these parties accumulate power in countries like Italy, Hungary and the Czech Republic, the share of Europeans who would currently vote to leave the EU does not breach 40% in any country. Frustration with the bureaucracy of Brussels doesn't appear to be enough for any country to endure the procedural nightmare we've seen from Brexit negotiations.

  • Italy's populist coalition has clashed with the EU over its deficit-busting budget proposal. The migration burden Italy has taken on since 2015 has also fueled attitudes of discontent toward Brussels.
  • This poll shows the "Remain" camp in the U.K. 18 points ahead of "Leave" — contrasting sharply with the results of the Brexit referendum, which Leave won by close to 4%. But two and a half years later, demographic changes and the lack of a breakthrough on Brexit negotiations may have changed voter attitudes, causing frustration that peaked Saturday when 700,000 protesters marched through London calling for a "People's Vote."
  • Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands — despite seeing far-right parties make gains in recent elections — remain staunch believers in the European project.

What to watch: A possible coalition of Euroskeptics led by Hungary's Viktor Orban and Italy's Matteo Salvini could cause major problems for Brussels if they perform well in next May's European Parliament election.

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U.K. Parliament approves Boris Johnson's Brexit deal

Photo: Leon Neal/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

U.K. lawmakers approved Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal on Friday with a 358-234 vote, showcasing the power of Johnson's new majority after last week's general election, per the BBC.

Why it matters: The vote puts the country on course for a Jan. 31 exit from the European Union. It'll also lock in a transition period through the end of 2020 — in which the U.K. will have left the EU but remain subject to many of its rules — in order for the government to flesh out new international trade deals and relationships.

Go deeper: Britain remade by Boris Johnson

Keep ReadingArrowDec 20, 2019

Pew: Across 33 countries, 64% of people have no confidence in Trump

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L), President Donald Trump (C) and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman at the G20 summit. Photo: Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

64% of people worldwide said they do not have confidence in President Trump to do the right thing on the global stage, while only 29% said they trust him, according to a Pew survey of 36,923 respondents conducted in 33 countries.

Why it matters: The world is watching as tensions between the U.S. and Iran flare in the wake of the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani — threatening an all-out war that could further destabilize the Middle East. Amid other global threats, North Korea has also abandoned a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear weapons testing after negotiations with the U.S. broke down.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020

As Italy's coalition wobbles, Salvini's moment approaches

Salvini's opponents left the door open for him. Photo: Salvatore Laporta/Kontrolab/LightRocket via Getty

Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right League party, seemed to have miscalculated catastrophically in August.

Flashback: Then interior minister and deputy prime minister, he moved to bring down the coalition government in which he served and force new elections, which could have catapulted him into the prime minister's office.

Go deeperArrowJan 14, 2020