10th Wave of the Barometer of the Elcano Royal Institute (November 2005) Press Summary
Universe: Spaniards of both sexes, 18 years of age
Sample Area: National. All autonomous communities
including Ceuta and Melilla.
Sample Size: 1,203 interviews.
Sample Structure: Stratified multi-stage.
Proportional, according to the double criteria of size of the
population of each autonomous community, with proportional
quotas according to the age and sex of the population applied
at the individual level.
Sample Error: ?2.9% (1,200n) for global data, p = q
= 0.5 and a confidence interval of 95.5%.
Interview Method: Computer-assisted telephone
interview (CATI system); call to home of interviewee.
Survey Period: Field work was carried out between
November 15 and November 25.
Field work: TNS ? Demoscopia.
1. SPANIARDS ARE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE EUROPEAN
UNION, DESPITE THE CLIMATE OF INSTITUTIONAL
66% believe that ?after the results of the referendums in
France and Holland, the European constitutional project should
not be abandoned?.
Despite the pessimism reigning in the EU after these
results, most Spaniards (66%) think that the EU is in good
shape. 51% expect it to continue to be in good shape through
2006 and 36% think it will be better.
Also on an optimistic note, 63% feel the EU ?is competitive
in a globalised world?, compared with 32% who think not,
?because it is losing jobs and companies are going to other
more competitive countries?.
One of the most urgent problems for the EU to deal with is
?competition with China in trade?. Solving this problem is as
important as ?having the Constitution ratified?, putting the
Spanish somewhere between the British perspective and the
This optimistic assessment is tinged with a certain amount
of concern when it comes to the future benefits of the EU for
Spain. After twenty years of EU membership, 71% of Spaniards
believe that the country has benefited a lot or quite a lot,
compared with only 27% who think it has not.
But while this is the perception of the past, they believe
that things will change in the future. Nearly half of those
polled (46%) think that ?we will benefit less than we have
2. 2005 ON BALANCE AND EXPECTATIONS FOR 2006: EU,
GIBRALTAR, RELATIONS WITH THE US AND IMMIGRATION
- On balance, 2005 was a year in which other
EU-related matters were stable and unchanged. This was the
case of ?Spanish power in the EU?, which remained the same
in the opinion of 44% of Spaniards, compared with 29% who
think it has diminished since early 2005.
- Gibraltar is the issue that has seen the least change:
78% feel it has not changed at all in 2005.
- On the international scene, 58% of Spaniards think that
relations with the US have worsened in 2005.
- Illegal immigration is unquestionably the issue of
greatest concern: 74% believe the problem has worsened in
The same is true regarding expectations for 2006:
nearly half of those interviewed (46%) believe that the
problem of illegal immigration will get worse. This is the
issue that raises concern above all others.
If we compare the overall assessment of 2004 ?which was
done in the 8th wave of the BRIE in January 2005?,
Spaniards feel that 2005 has been worse than 2004 in terms of
illegal immigration and relations with Morocco. These are also
the two areas where there is least optimism for 2006.
3. IMMIGRATION: INTEREST IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA AND
MEASURES AGAINST ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
As a result of this growing concern for illegal
immigration, there has been an increase in interest in
sub-Saharan Africa as a priority for Spanish foreign policy.
The region was mentioned by 18% of respondents, compared with
only 10% in the first wave of the BRIE in November 2003.
Regarding solutions to illegal immigration, all those
surveyed (100%) agree that the most effective plan is to help
develop less developed countries.
Although there is tension between the defence of grand
principles and national interests when it comes to specific
measures to be taken, 63% agree that ?the subsidies given by
European countries to farmers harm them in less developed
At the same time, a similar percentage (61%) reject the
idea that ?Spain must reduce subsidies to its farmers so that
those in the Third World can export their products?.
Spaniards agree almost unanimously (93%) that ?developed
countries must provide more help to less developed countries
that cooperate in the fight against illegal immigration?.
In the short term, a majority of 70% also agrees that ?to
fight illegal immigration, border controls must be
Also in the short term, 58% believe the proposal for a
?Euro-African conference between European and African
countries to coordinate measures against illegal immigration?
would be effective. PSOE and PP voters largely agree on this
issue, with a difference of only 7% between them.
This shared concern regarding immigration is also clear in
the consequences people expect of it. 62% think that ?riots
led by young Maghrebi immigrants could occur in Spain, as they
did in France in recent weeks?.
And two thirds of Spaniards (68%) think it is possible that
?if the Muslim population of Ceuta and Melilla continues to
rise, there is a future risk that they may claim to be part of
4. MOROCCAN ACCESSION TO THE EU WITH SPECIAL
94% feel that ?Morocco does not do enough to fight illegal
immigration to Spain from within its own borders?.
Among other things, this perception is likely one of the
causes of suspicion that makes it the least desired country
for new membership in the EU.
When asked for a direct ?yes? or ?no?, only 20% are in
favour, while 77% are against the idea. Support for Moroccan
accession has dropped constantly since May 2004, losing a
total of 10%.
However, there is significantly less rejection of Morocco
as an EU member if the possibility exists of ?special status
as a privileged partner, but not one with full rights?. This
idea is supported by 32%, meaning that if the question is
asked this way, detractors and supporters balance out and
interviewees are split evenly on the issue.
5. SUPPORT FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM
EVEN THOUGH IT MAY MEAN DIMINISHED INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS
After the March 11 terrorist attacks, Spaniards defend the
implementation of new ways to fight terrorism ?even if it
means diminished individual freedoms?. 90% agree with ?video
surveillance systems in airports, stations and public
transport in general?.
Only ?police phone taps without judicial approval? trigger
general suspicion, and are rejected by 62% of the
6. SOLID DEFENCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND GLOBAL
Although the majority would give up certain individual
rights in the fight against terrorism, Spaniards feel that
human rights are fundamental and they defend the idea of
global justice at any cost.
Accordingly, 87% agree that ?if the international courts
are not doing their work, it is good for Spanish courts to
prosecute crimes of genocide and human rights abuses and bring
those responsible to justice?.
67% agree that ?it is good for judges and independent
national courts to be able to prosecute them because
international bodies continue to be subject to the law of the
strongest and true justice is not done?.
And they do not believe there is a risk of overloading the
Spanish justice system. Only 37% believe that ?if the Spanish
courts also deal with international crimes they will be less
efficient and Spaniards will lose out?.
7. SUPPORT FOR THE PRESENCE OF SPANISH TROOPS IN
AFGHANISTAN, BUT POOR UNDERSTANDING OF THE
In line with the humanitarian, internationalist perspective
revealed in the previous question, the spring Barometer
already indicated that a small majority (51%) were generally
in favour of the presence of Spanish troops in Afghanistan
and, more specifically, their mission to protect the most
recent legislative elections, which received a similar level
Nevertheless, the results of the most recent survey show
that 65% think that this mission is dangerous for the
All in all, Spaniards are unaware of some fundamental
aspects of the mission. Only 18% mention supporting democracy
and stabilising the country?s politics as goals of the
mission, while 7% mention peace or preventing a civil war.