More than half ( 51%) Bulgarians do not see a significant change in our country after the EU at the beginning of the eighth year of accession to the international organization and the threshold of the third consecutive elections for European Parliament. These data has been indicated through a survey by Alpha Research, held 18-22 January 2014 among 1050 adult citizens across the country.
According to 32% of respondents Bulgaria has benefited from EU membership, and according to 17% of the country has not. When it comes to results on a personal level, the views are even more critical. Only 15% - twice less than those, stating the country has benefited from EU membership, account personal gain, but the vast majority - 73 percent say they have not felt the material change for themselves. Social groups that see EU membership as beneficial for the country and for themselves as individuals, are mostly citizens of the capital, the younger generations, people with higher education and income. Ability to travel (90%) and work abroad ( 81%) are the directions in which the Bulgarians see the biggest and the real effect of EU membership. These are the areas to which there was the highest of expectations in joining EU. Infrastructure is the third strand with the most positive assessments - 73% . The change in public attitudes marked the largest increase compared to the beginning of membership, when only 26 % of Bulgarians had expected positive effects in this direction.
For most people, however, membership in the EU has failed to significantly affect the development of a number of key areas such as: agriculture (49 % positive - 49% negative assessments), environmental (44 % positive , 53% negative assessments), improving the competitiveness of Bulgarian companies (42% -55% ), consumer (41% -55% ), culture and science (36% -59% ), social policy (35% -62% ). At the bottom of the rankings, with the most negative assessments remain: the fight against crime (68% negative assessments ), corruption (71% ) and the jurisdiction (74 %). In this respect, public attitudes coincide fully with the criticisms of the regular monitoring reports of the European Commission. 46% of Bulgarians have a positive attitude towards the EU and negative - 16%. Expectations for the EU to develop positively in the near future are shared by 37% of the people. According to 17% - the euro-pessimists, EU situation will deteriorate. More optimistic about the EU are those social groups which have experienced the benefits of the membership: the younger generations with higher social and economic status, right-wing and center-right political parties. "Euro-skepticism" is more prevalent among people with low income and education engaged in manual labor and the unemployed , and among the older generation.