7th Wave of the Barometer of the Elcano Royal Institute. Press Summary
SURVEY BY THE
CENTRE FOR SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH AND THE ELCANO ROYAL
The Centre for Sociological
Research (Centro de Investigaciones Sociol?gicas ?CIS?)
and the Elcano Royal Institute for International and Strategic
Studies present the report ?Spanish people?s opinions and
attitudes towards the Constitutional Treaty and the process of
European Union integration?, in a seventh wave (this time,
unlike previous editions, monographic) of the Barometer of the
Elcano Royal Institute (BRIE).
The importance of the
referendum on the EU Constitutional Treaty, which will be held
in Spain on 20 February 2005 and which represents a
fundamental landmark in the process of European integration,
warranted the joint collaboration of the CIS and the Elcano
The survey was conducted
between 8 and 12 November among 2,400 respondents nationwide,
and the sample?s overall deviation was +2.00%.
The highlights of the
report are as follows:
Most Spaniards are in favour of a referendum.
They are not familiar with the Constitutional Treaty.
They think the Treaty is good for Europe.
They also think the Constitutional Treaty is good for Spain
and positive to its autonomous regions.
The overall support for the Treaty does not preclude a certain
degree of scepticism.
The support shown is due to Spaniards? profound
?Yes? to Europe but ?No? to Europe becoming a military
France and Germany are Spain?s main European allies.
With regard to future enlargement, the door is open for
Russia, but not for Turkey.
- Spaniards are largely
in favour of a referendum...
Spaniards are overwhelmingly
(83%) in favour of there being a referendum. Indeed, from July
to November of this year, support for the referendum increased
by over 10 points, from 72% to 83%.
- ... Although they are
not familiar with the Constitutional Treaty
84% of Spaniards assert that they do not
know the content of the European Constitution: 60% say they
have little knowledge of it and 24% say they have none at
Furthermore, one out of every
two Spaniards (44%) say they do not even know the position of
their political party in regard to the Treaty.
- The Treaty is good for
Notwithstanding the above,
Spaniards? strong pro-Europeanism leads them to value the
Treaty in a highly positive light, despite not knowing its
contents. The majority (58%) think that the Treaty is good for
It is widely believed that the
Treaty is a step forward in the process of integration (75%)
and that it will serve to uphold peace and prosperity in
Europe (67%). Only 27% consider that it reinforces the ?Europe
of Capital? vs. the ?Social Europe?.
- It is also good for
At the same time, the majority
believe that the Treaty is also good for Spain (55%).
Why is it good? People believe
that the Treaty will give Spain more possibilities to develop
economically and politically (60%).
And, specifically at the institutional
level, most Spaniards also believe that Spain?s political
weighting will not be undermined as a result of the new
- Beneficial to Spain?s
Spaniards consider that the
Constitution will also prove positive for Spain?s autonomous
regions, which will be afforded better chances to develop both
economically and politically, and even in terms of culture and
identity (approximately 50% of Spaniards believe so). Only 20%
of those surveyed think that the Constitution does not
recognise the identity of European peoples.
There is no doubt that in
Catalonia and the Basque Country there is greater demand for
recognition by Europe of the identity and culture of European
peoples, although the rest of Spain also goes some way in
supporting these demands. Thus, the clear majority of
Spaniards (59%) claim to be in favour of recognition by Europe
of Spain?s official languages, a demand that is almost
unanimous in Catalonia (84%) and the Basque Country (81%).
General support to the Treaty
does not preclude a certain degree of scepticism:
Among Popular Party (PP) voters, because a significant number
believe that Spain?s political weighting will be
Among the electorate of the United Left (IU), because the
Treaty would consecrate the liberal Europe, the ?Europe of
Capital?, vs. the ?Social Europe?.
Among nationalist party bases, since they do not see their
differentiating characteristics as sufficiently
Among Popular Party and
nationalist voters these reservations translate into fewer
favourable votes and lower participation rates than those of
the Socialist Party (PSOE) electorate. One out of every two
PSOE voters are in favour, and only 30% undecided, whereas
among the voter base of the PNV (Basque nationalists) or ERC
(Catalan nationalists) the percentage of rejection or
indecision (50% in both electorates) exceeds the percentage of
support (40% and 31%, respectively).
- Support responds to
Spaniards? profound pro-Europeanism
The widespread support for the
Constitution, despite the above nuances, is based on
Spaniards? strong pro-Europeanism.
Europe must be the pivotal axis
of Spain?s foreign policy: one out of every two Spaniards
(46%) believes that Europe should take priority. In a distant
second place are Latin America and the United States (which
draw at 10%).
Furthermore, Spaniards are in
favour of extending the EU?s competencies at almost all
levels: immigration policy (78%), common foreign policy (76%),
European police (72%) and fiscal harmonisation (58%).
Likewise, most are also in favour of a common European
government (65%), although in a different context one out of
every two Spaniards (55%) also believe that ?EU member states
must always have the final word?.
- Europe yes, but not a
Due to the marked pacifism of
Spanish people, the only aspect which arouses some suspicion
is the military one. Although 62% of Spaniards are in favour
of common European armed forces, 40% are against increasing
European defence spending to enhance the EU?s international
weighting, and 34% are against the deployment of soldiers in
international actions by the EU.
In this regard, it is worth
noting that only 27% want Europe to become a power to
counterbalance the United States and this is because two out
of every three Spaniards (65%) reject the very idea of a
superpower, whether American or European.
- France and Germany,
Spain?s main European allies
Within Europe, France (51%) and
Germany (42%) are considered to be Spain?s closest allies,
followed at some distance by Portugal and Italy (18%).
In any event, despite this
affinity with the two European powers, most Spaniards would
like to see a Europe without leading players, where all member
states have the same power of influence in decisions
- Yes to Russia, no to
Finally, in regard to future
enlargement, the door is open only to Russia (58%), whereas it
is closed for Turkey (44%), and needless to say for Morocco
(25%) and Israel (21%).
It is worth noting that the
public debate on whether or not it is advisable to welcome
Turkey into the EU has seen Spaniards? initial support (56% in
May) dwindle into rejection.