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Eurobarometer: Estonians more optimistic than average on EU future

TALLINN - Estonians are more positively minded about the future of the European Union and trust the union more than residents in EU member states on the average, it appears from a Eurobarometer survey the findings of which were published on Thursday.

"According to a new Eurobarometer released today, a majority of Europeans think the situation of the economy is good and are optimistic about the future. Trust in the Union is on the rise and support for the Economic and Monetary Union is at its highest level," the European Commission said in a press release.

Of residents of Estonia 53 percent trust the EU, which is the seventh highest ratio in the EU and 11 percentage points higher than the EU average. Compared with the Eurobarometer survey taken last fall, Estonians' trust in the EU has grown by 4 percentage points and mistrust in the EU has declined by 3 percentage points.

The image that the EU conjures up for the respondent was generally positive for 42 percent of respondents in Estonia, compared with the EU average of 40 percent. The image of the EU was negative for 10 percent of respondents in Estonia and for 21 percent of respondents in the EU on average.

Of Estonian residents 66 percent are positively minded about the future of the EU, which puts Estonia in tenth place among the member states. The EU average was 58 percent.

Estonians are more positively minded also when it comes to the situation of their own economy, as 62 percent of the respondents in Estonia judged the situation of the country's economy to be good overall. That was the 12th best result across the EU, and significantly higher than the EU average of 49 percent.

The situation of the EU economy was considered to be good in general by 60 percent of respondents in Estonia and by 50 percent of respondents across the EU, with Estonia ranking 15th among the member states.

Estonians are, however, more pessimistic when it comes to the prospects of the EU labor market.

Support for the economic and monetary union and the euro is record high. The common currency is supported by 74 percent of the residents of the euro area and by 88 percent of respondents in Estonia.

The Eurobarometer survey was conducted by interviewing approximately one thousand people in each member state. In Estonia 1,021 people were interviewed from March 17 to 26.

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