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Austrians against leaving the EU

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EU flags. Photo: APA/GEORG HOCHMUTH
11:22 CEST+02:00
A recent poll shows that while most Austrians feel ambivalent about the EU, the majority is against leaving the Union.

This was according to general secretary of the Society for European Policies (OeGfE), Paul Schmidt on Wednesday.

Twenty years ago, two thirds of all Austrians voted in favour of joining the EU. Voter participation was 80 percent. An analysis of 46 surveys by the OeGfE since 1995 showed that 71 percent wanted to stay in the Union (on average), while 23 percent wanted to leave.

In early 2014, 44 percent said that staying in the EU had "a lot more" (14 percent) or "somewhat more" advantages (30 percent) for Austria. For 35 percent, there were more disadvantages than advantages. 24 percent said they wanted to leave the Union, while 13 percent did not comment.

According to Schmidt, the "lack of a continuous and more proactive EU dialogue is one of the main reasons for Austrians' ambivalent relationship to the EU."

The new organisation of the EU parliament after the elections was the perfect time to restart EU communication in Austria, he added.

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