Swiss support for EU falls sharply
24 May 2011, 10:42
Published: 24 May 2011 10:54 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 May 2011 10:42 GMT+02:00
There has been a rapid decline in the number of Swiss willing to join the EU over the last decade. While 57 percent still wanted to do so in 1999, it was only 31 percent in 2010. Now, a new poll has found that only 19 percent of those eligible to vote think membership is a good idea.
Nevertheless, 77 percent of the Swiss would like to see closer economic cooperation with the EU.
The poll also found that the country's historical inclination to neutrality remains unbroken – 94 percent say they support Switzerland's time-honoured stance.
The Swiss also feel very safe and optimistic about their country – some 90 percent considered the country "very safe" or "generally safe," while 84 percent saw its future as positive – 15 percent more than last year.
What the pollsters have dubbed the "hedgehog effect" was reportedly underlined by this survey. As many as 79 percent consider the army as necessary, though 43 percent doubt its defensive capability. Only 35 percent think the army can guard against terrorism effectively.