The results of the report were discussed at an event in Dublin today organised by the European Commission Representation and We The People. The main presentation of the results was given by Luke Reaper, Managing Director of Behaviour & Attitudes, who wrote the report based on the findings of the latest EU-wide standard Eurobarometer survey (SEB98), which was published on 22 February 2023.
This national report covers a period of time in early 2023. It covers three core themes: trust in European Institutions and EU direction for the future; important contextual issues including key local concerns such as housing and the cost of living, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, energy supply and political leanings; and the Media.
The Winter 2023 Standard Eurobarometer, coming as it does, one year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, shows that Irish citizens continue to show strong support for Irish and EU actions to support Ukraine and its people.
The poll shows that Irish people hold a very positive image of the EU, the highest of any EU country. They are also the most optimistic about the EU’s future. A large majority of Irish people also feel well informed about European matters, second only to Luxembourg, and well above the EU average.
Barbara Nolan, Head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland.
Key findings: Ireland
- 74% of Irish people have a positive view of the EU, up 4 percentage points on summer 2022 and the highest across the EU27 where the average is 45%.
- 84% of Irish citizens are optimistic about the future of the EU, the highest across the EU27 and well above the EU27 average of 62%.
- 61% of Irish people trust the EU, up 3 percentage points from summer 2022 and well above the EU27 average of 47%. Six in ten Irish citizens trust the European Parliament (61%) and the European Commission (59%) while 58% trust the European Central Bank, and 55% trust the European Council.
- 63% of Irish people claim to feel informed on European matters, second highest in the EU after Luxembourg (69%) and well above the EU average of 35%.
- For Irish people, the most important issue facing Ireland at the moment is housing with 52% citing this as a key concern. On average across the EU, only 8% of respondents said housing was a key concern when focusing on their own state.
- Rising prices/inflation/cost of living was the second most important issue facing Ireland with 51% of Irish respondents citing this as a key concern compared to 44% in January 2022. This is in line with the EU27 average of 53%.
- Irish people are much more likely to be satisfied with both their government's (78%) and the EU's reaction (76%) to the Russian invasion of Ukraine than the respective EU27 averages of 55% and 56%.
- Ireland is much more centrist in political leaning than the EU27 average with 59% of Irish people viewing themselves as centrist compared to an EU average of 39%. On the other hand, the share of Irish people who view themselves as right-wing is, at 10% (down 2 percentage points on 2022), well below the EU average of 21%.
- Irish people are more likely to agree with reducing the EU's reliance on Russian sources of energy and increasing investment in renewable energy sources than the EU average. 91% of Irish people agree the EU should reduce its dependency on Russian sources of energy as soon as possible, compared to the EU average of 84% while 90% agree that the EU should invest massively in renewables compared to an EU average of 86%.
- 80% of the Irish public agree that they often come across news or information that they believe misrepresents reality or is false, well above the EU average of 69%.
- Irish people are far more likely to trust the national media to deliver trustworthy information (74%) than the EU average (59%). They are also far more likely to agree that the Irish media provide information free from political or commercial pressure (68% compared to an EU average of 48%).
- The most popular sources of information about the EU for Irish people are television, radio, written press (45%) followed by information websites (29%) and social media (20%).
The fieldwork for the survey was undertaken by B&A on behalf of KANTAR between 12 January and 6 February 2023, and 1,008 people aged 15+ were interviewed. The data for the Irish report forms part of the Standard Eurobarometer (SEB) 98th edition.
- Publication date
- 28 March 2023
- Representation in Ireland