Internal Market: Awareness, Perceptions and Impacts

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1 Special Eurobarometer 363 European Commission Internal Market: Awareness, Perceptions and Impacts REPORT Special Eurobarometer 363 / Wave TNS opinion & social Fieldwork: February-March 2011 Publication: September 2011 This survey has been requested by the Directorate-General for Internal Market and Services and co-ordinated by Directorate-General for Communication (DG COMM Research and Speechwriting Unit). This document does not represent the point of view of the European Commission. The interpretations and opinions contained in it are solely those of the authors.

2 Special Eurobarometer 363 INTERNAL MARKET: AWARENESS, PERCEPTIONS AND IMPACTS Conducted by TNS Opinion & Social at the request of Directorate-General for Internal Market and Services Survey co-ordinated by Directorate-General Communication

3 Table of contents INTRODUCTION... 4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY THE INTERNAL MARKET OF THE EU GENERAL PERCEPTIONS What did EU citizens think of when they heard the words Internal Market of the EU? Agreement with statements about the EU Internal Market FREE MOVEMENT OF WORKERS AND REGULATED PROFESSIONALS Free movement of workers in the EU Working in another EU Member State Obstacles to working in another EU Member State Free movement of regulated professionals in the EU Awareness of free movement of doctors and nurses Using the services of a foreign-trained doctor Importance of the Member State of training and qualification AWARENESS AND OPINIONS ABOUT INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS IN THE EU Sources of information on EU rights Sources of help on EU rights Personal experience of individual rights in the EU AWARENESS AND OPINIONS ABOUT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS Awareness of EU laws against counterfeiting and piracy Counterfeit products bought in good faith Is it sometimes justified to buy counterfeit products? Perceptions about counterfeit products and their impact on the economy

4 5. PUBLIC PROCUREMENT WITHIN THE INTERNAL MARKET Public procurement procedures in the EU Perceptions of the usefulness of common rules for public procurement Support for opening up of public procurement within the Internal Market Attitudes towards the selection criteria used in public procurement procedures The deciding factor when awarding public contracts Can public authorities deviate from the lowest cost option? ANNEXES Technical specifications Questionnaire Tables 3

5 INTRODUCTION The Internal Market 1 is a cornerstone of the European Union. First introduced in 1993, its purpose was to break down barriers between individual Member States and, in doing so, to create four freedoms across the EU: the free movement of people; the free movement of capital; the free movement of goods; and the freedom to provide services. Through these freedoms, the EU has been able to further integration, to deliver economies of scale, and to improve the opportunities available to European citizens. However, previous research has shown that awareness of the Internal Market and its benefits is not yet widespread throughout all of European society, and the main objective of this study is therefore to gauge the current level of awareness amongst the general public. The survey also measures attitudes to cross-border work (whether people support it, and are interested in taking advantage of this freedom themselves), to public procurement that may involve foreign companies, to counterfeiting and piracy, and to citizens rights. By the EU s own admission, the Internal Market remains an ongoing project. While many barriers to integration have been removed since 1993, some obstacles still remain, especially in the provision of services. The barriers remain higher in some Member States than in others. By assessing public perceptions of these outstanding obstacles, this survey aims to contribute to their eventual removal. The results of this survey will be compared with those of a 2009 Flash Eurobarometer study of the Internal Market to help highlight possible trends in attitudes to labour freedoms and to the Internal Market in general. However it needs to be borne in mind that the earlier study had a completely different methodology, and therefore these comparisons should be taken only as indicative, rather than as statistically valid analysis. In the course of this Eurobarometer survey, 26,836 European citizens aged 15 and above were interviewed about the Internal Market and related issues by the TNS Opinion & Social network between 9 th February and 8 th March 2011 in all 27 European Union Member States 2. The methodology used is that of surveys as carried out by the Directorate General for Communication ( Research and Political Analysis Unit) 3. 1 Further information on the Internal Market can be found at 2 Further information on the methodology used can be found in the technical note which specifies the interview methods as well as the intervals of confidence. 3 4

6 A technical note on the methodology for interviews conducted by the institutes within the TNS Opinion & Social network is annexed to this report. This note indicates the interview methods and the confidence intervals 4. The study will provide detailed analysis of the degree to which the Internal Market and four freedoms are understood both across the EU and also in individual Member States. It will assess social attitudes to core principles of the Internal Market, such as the right of citizens to work in any Member State, and also form a picture of which countries are most and least positive towards the idea of an EU free market. The survey also provides demographic analysis to help understand how some sections of European society view the values and outcomes of the Internal Market differently from others. The statistical breakdowns include: male/female; age range; the impact of education levels and household income; internet usage; and a range of other socio-economic factors. ********** The Eurobarometer web site can be consulted at the following address: We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the EU citizens throughout the continent who gave their time to take part in this survey. Without their active participation, this survey would quite simply not have been possible. 4 The results tables are included in the annex. It should be noted that the total of the percentages in the tables of this report may exceed 100% when the respondent can give several answers to the same question. 5

7 In this report, the countries are referred to by their official abbreviation: ABREVIATIONS EU27 European Union 27 Member States Don t know BE BG CZ DE EE EL ES FR IE IT CY LT LV LU HU MT NL AT PL PT RO SI SK FI SE UK Belgium Bulgaria Czech Republic Denmark Germany Estonia Greece Spain France Ireland Italy Republic of Cyprus Lithuania Latvia Luxembourg Hungary Malta The Netherlands Austria Poland Portugal Romania Slovenia Slovakia Finland Sweden United Kingdom 6

8 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Perceptions of the Internal Market While one individual in four (26%) thinks that the Internal Market relates to trade within the EU, just over a third of people (35%) were unable to think of anything. The Internal Market is associated with at least one of the four freedoms for 19% of EU citizens, though this is much higher in the Netherlands (51%) and in Cyprus (40%). In some Member States especially Malta, the UK and Latvia almost nobody mentioned any of the four freedoms Overall there appears to have been a negative shift in opinion towards the Internal Market since More people think that the Internal Market has a negative impact than in 2009, while fewer now think it has positive effects. While 62% of people believe the Internal Market only benefits big companies, only 32% of people think it benefits poor or disadvantaged people. Citizens in Finland and Slovakia are more likely to be positive, while people in France, Greece and the UK are often less likely to feel that the Internal Market brings benefits Overall, those citizens who are better aware of the Internal Market (who mentioned at least one of the four freedoms) are more likely to have positive perceptions and to acknowledge the benefits of the Internal Market. Free movement of workers and regulated professionals Around one in 10 citizens have worked in another Member State, though a much higher proportion have done so in Luxembourg (35%) and Ireland (21%). More than half of the EU population (53%) is simply not interested in working abroad 7

9 Almost one in three citizens (28%) would consider working in another Member State in the future although this ranges from 71% in Sweden and 46% in Finland down to 15% in Austria and 13% in Cyprus. The language barrier and family considerations are the two main reasons why people choose not to work in another EU country. The difficulty in finding an appropriate job comes third as a barrier for EU12 citizens while cultural differences do so in the EU15. Two-thirds of people believe that doctors and nurses are free to work in any EU Member State, although awareness of this ranges from 90% in Cyprus to 48% in Italy. While a high proportion of people in some countries, such as Cyprus (77%) and Luxembourg (70%) have seen a doctor from another EU country, this is much lower in some countries such as Bulgaria (6%) and Romania (7%). Two-thirds (64%) of EU citizens are happy to be treated by a doctor from anywhere in the EU, although this ranges from 82% in Malta down to just 33% in Austria. Citizen rights in the Internal Market EU citizens have limited understanding of where to learn more about their rights under the Internal Market. EU citizens show no clear preference for any single information source when it comes to finding out about their rights. Friends, family and colleagues remain the most popular sources of information, ahead of official resources, such as the EU website. Renting a car, shopping online and switching provider for gas, electricity or phone were generally seen as easy. Obtaining residence card, recognition of academic diplomas, redress after travel, reclaiming VAT and transferring social security rights caused the most difficulty for EU citizens. 8

10 In all cases, EU citizens with a higher level of education tended to find it easier to get things done in another EU country. Intellectual property rights A majority (58%) of people say that they are aware of EU common laws to combat piracy and counterfeiting, although more people (75%) claimed awareness in the 2009 survey. There is considerable variation in awareness between Member States, for example 77% of people in Luxembourg say they are aware of common anti-piracy laws, as opposed to just 35% in Bulgaria. 20% of people have bought goods in the EU that they later realised were counterfeit. This experience is much more common in certain Member States, such as Romania (40%) and Lithuania (38%). Fashion wear and accessories are the fake products most commonly purchased. Only 12% of EU citizens think that counterfeiting is justifiable under any circumstances, but almost half (44%) think it is acceptable when the original product is too costly. Public procurement Over two-thirds of EU citizens (68%) believe that companies from their country should be able to compete for contracts anywhere in the world, though only 55% think all foreign companies should be allowed to compete in their country. Support for the right of overseas companies to compete in their country is strong in some countries especially Denmark (69% in favour) and Sweden (67%) but less so elsewhere, notably in Hungary (34%) and Austria (38%). Only one person in five thinks that a company s nationality should be the deciding factor when it comes to the awarding of public contracts. The idea that a company s nationality is important in awarding public contracts is most prevalent in Ireland (29% agree) and Austria (27%). But in countries such as Sweden (7%) and Luxembourg (11%), fewer people think nationality is relevant. 9

11 Two-thirds (68%) of people agree that EU-wide rules on the awarding of public contracts help to reduce corruption, but while 87% of people in Malta agree with this, only 48% of those in Latvia agree. There is widespread agreement that cost is not the only important factor when awarding public contracts, with social considerations, environmental aspects and local employment all regarded as being particularly important. 10

12 1. THE INTERNAL MARKET OF THE EU GENERAL PERCEPTIONS Chapter 1 seeks to understand people s perceptions of the EU Internal Market by asking EU citizens what first comes to mind when the Internal Market is mentioned and whether or not they agree with certain statements, such as the Internal Market provides a bigger choice of products. Some key findings from this section of the report include: While one individual in four (26%) thinks that the Internal Market relates to trade within the EU, a similar number of people (35%) were unable to think of anything. The Internal Market is associated with at least one of the four freedoms for 19% of EU citizens, though this is much higher in the Netherlands (51%) and in Cyprus (40%). In some Member States especially Malta, the UK and Latvia almost nobody mentioned any of the four freedoms Overall there appears to have been a negative shift in opinion towards the Internal Market since More people think that the Internal Market has a negative impact than in 2009, while fewer now think it has positive effects. While 62% of people believe the Internal Market only benefits big companies, only 32% of people think it benefits poor or disadvantaged people. Citizens in Finland and Slovakia are more likely to be positive, while people in France, Greece and the UK are often less likely to feel that the Internal Market brings benefits Overall, those citizens who are better aware of the Internal Market (who mentioned at least one of the four freedoms) are more likely to have positive perceptions and to acknowledge the benefits of the Internal Market.. 11

13 1.1 What did EU citizens think of when they heard the words Internal Market of the EU? -- While there is widespread agreement that the Internal Market has brought benefits, many EU citizens also think it has had negative effects -- Citizens in the EU are most likely to associate the Internal Market with trade around a quarter (26%) spontaneously mentioned this when asked what it called to mind 5, however just over a third (35%) were unable to say what the Internal Market relates to. In terms of the four freedoms at the heart of the Internal Market, people are less likely to spontaneously mention these specifically, although 19% of EU citizens refer to at least one of the four. The most frequently mentioned is the free movement of goods and services (13%), while 3% spontaneously mention the free movement of people. Just 2% mention the free movement of labour and 1% mention the free movement of money/capital. To 11% of EU citizens, the Internal Market calls to mind activities within the EU, such as unification, co-operation or the single currency. Mention of the Internal Market leads 6% of EU citizens to make negative associations, such as that it is an open door to trafficking, corruption and other social problems (3%), a threat to national production (1%), unequal competition between countries (1%), and red tape (1%). It encourages 4% of people to make positive associations, such as benefits to consumers (2%), greater variety of products (1%) and other national advantages (1%). Increased competition is cited by 1% of people, while 9% say it calls other things to mind. 5 QD1: What comes to your mind when you hear the words Internal Market of the EU? Possible answers: free movement of goods and services; free movement of people (i.e. no border controls); free movement work; free movement of money/capital; greater variety of products; unified currency; increased competitiveness; benefit to the end-consumer (i.e. cheaper/tax-free products/services); quotas and regulations that need to be complied with; unequal competitiveness between weaker countries and stronger countries; threat to national production; immigrant workers; flooding of the European market with cheap products of low quality; devaluation of local currency, which makes everything more expensive; Trade within the EU, Activities within the EU (unification, co-operation, other mentions of EU); open door to trafficking, corruption, inequity, poverty, etc.; advantage for our country; other; none; don t know. 12

14 What comes to EU citizens mind when hearing the words Internal Market of the EU Trade within the EU 26% At least one of the 4 Single Market freedoms 19% Free movement of goods (and services) 13% Free movement of people 3% Free movement of work 2% Free movement of money/capital 1% Activities within the EU (unification, co-operation, single currency) 11% Negative associations 6% Open door to trafficking, corruption, inequity, poverty, etc 3% Threat to national production 1% Unequal competition between weaker and stronger countries 1% Quotas and regulations that need to be complied with 1% Positive associations 4% Benefit to the end consumers (i.e. cheaper/tax-free products) 2% Greater variety of products 1% Advantage for our country 1% Increased competition 1% Other 9% None/ don t know 35% Direct comparisons with the 2009 data are not possible, as explained in the introduction. However, a useful way of benchmarking awareness of the Internal Market may be to compare the number of EU citizens who mention the four freedoms while 30% mentioned them in 2009, fewer than one in five (19%) did so in Looking at the results from individual EU Member States, it is clear that citizens in some countries have a better understanding of the Internal Market than in others. In Slovakia only 13% could not give a response, 16% in Greece; and in Slovenia 17%. In comparison, in the UK, 61% of people were unable to give a response as were 53% in Cyprus and 50% in Malta. 13

15 Trade is cited by at least a quarter of citizens in 16 Member States, and is mentioned most in Italy (50%), Greece (44%) and Lithuania (40%). Trade is mentioned least in Luxembourg (7%) and Germany (14%). The country-level results reveal wide disparities in awareness of the four freedoms across the EU. In the Netherlands, 51% mention one of the four freedoms, as do 40% in Cyprus and 39% in Luxembourg. But only 3% of people in Malta mention one of the four freedoms, as do 5% in the UK and 7% in Latvia. 14

16 When it comes to the number of people making negative associations with Internal Market, the highest proportion are in France, where 15% cite various negative aspects as do 11% of people in Finland. Austria has the highest proportion of people who make positive associations about the Internal Market: 14% say it brings positive benefits, as do 11% of people in Bulgaria and 10% in the Netherlands and Germany. Relatively high numbers of people say that the Internal Market relates to more general activities within the EU in Austria (33%), Sweden (26%) and France (21%). 15

17 Comparison between the responses of citizens of the EU12 and the EU15 Member States on this question shows that EU12 citizens (31%) are more likely to associate the Internal Market with trade than those in the EU15 (25%). But while only 7% of people in the EU12 think of 'activities within the EU' in connection with the Internal Market, 11% of those in the EU15 give this response. The socio-demographic results suggest a significant gender variation in terms of people answering that they don t know what the Internal Market calls to mind: while 28% of women say they don t know, only 19% of men say this. The respondent s level of education also has an impact on his or her inclination to answer don t know : while 16% of people who finished their education aged 20 or over respond in this way, this rises to 23% among people in the category and again to 35% among those who left school at 15 or under. 16

18 The occupation of the respondent has a similarly important bearing. While 37% of housepersons and 32% of unemployed people say they don t know what the Internal Market calls to mind, only 15% of managers and 15% of self-employed workers say this. Men appear more likely than women to mention one of the four freedoms in relation to the Internal Market: 21% of men do so, compared with 17% of women. EU citizens with a higher level of education are also more likely to mention the four freedoms: while 27% who finished their education aged 20 or over mention one of the four, this falls to 18% among those in the category and again to 10% among those who left school at 15 or under. A similar pattern can be seen when analyzing how easily citizens are able to pay their bills. While 21% of people who almost never have trouble mention one of the four freedoms, only 19% of those who sometimes have trouble and 13% who have trouble most of the time do the same. Men are more inclined than women to make negative associations about the Internal Market: 6% of men do this, as opposed to 4% of women. The same is true of citizens with a higher level of education: 8% of individuals who finished their education aged 20 or over mention something negative, compared with 4-5% of people in the other two groups. 17

19 1.2 Agreement with statements about the EU Internal Market -- While there is widespread agreement that the Internal Market has brought benefits, many EU citizens also think it has had negative effects -- Overall the data suggests that there has been a negative shift in opinion towards the Internal Market since People in the EU are most likely to agree that the Internal Market provides a bigger choice of products 74% agree with this 6 (lower than the 81% that said so in the 2009 survey). 62% think that the Internal Market is only for the benefit of big companies (55% in 2009); while 58% feel that the Internal Market has flooded their country with cheap labour (50% in 2009). For 55% of EU citizens, the Internal Market includes too many different countries (50% in 2009), although, more positively, 52% agree that it provides for more jobs in the EU (64% in 2009). The Internal Market strengthens their own country in competition with the USA, Japan or China, according to 51% of EU citizens (70% in 2009); with the same number suggesting that it has worsened working conditions in their country (42% in 2009). 47% of people say that the Internal Market ensures fair competition between companies in the EU (56% in 2009), while 46% agree that it leads to lower prices for products and services in the EU (51% in 2009). National standards for consumer protection are lowered by the Internal Market for 44% of people (42% in 2009), and 41% think that it poses a threat to national identity and culture (36% in 2009). 40% agree that the Internal Market helps tackle climate change (50% in 2009), and 39% say it has increased the standard of living (52% in 2009). 37% agree that it has limited the negative impact of the financial crisis (52% in 2009); while 32% argue that the Internal Market benefits poor or disadvantaged people (41% in 2009). 6 QD20: Please tell me whether you totally agree, tend to agree, tend to disagree or totally disagree with each of the following statements. The Internal Market in the EU a) strengthens (OUR COUNTRY) in his competition with the USA, Japan or China; b) provides for more jobs in the EU; c) has increased the standard of living; d) ensures a fair competition between companies in the EU; e) provides for a bigger choice of products; f) is only for the benefit of big companies; g) is a threat to national identity and culture; h) has worsened working conditions in (OUR COUNTRY); i) lowers national standards for consumer protection; j) leads to lower prices for products and services in the EU; k) tackles climate change; l) includes too many different countries; m) benefits poor or disadvantaged citizens; n) has limited the negative impact of the financial crisis; o) has flooded (OUR COUNTRY) with cheap labour. Possible answers: totally agree; tend to agree; tend to disagree; totally disagree; don t know. 18

20 Perceptions of the Internal Market in the EU While a majority of people in all Member States agree that the Internal Market provides a bigger choice of products, agreement is far stronger in some countries than in others. 95% of people in Cyprus agree with this, as do 93% in Slovakia and 90% in Slovenia, and at least 80% of EU citizens agree in 17 Member States. Agreement is less strong in Romania (60%) and the UK (61%). The Internal Market in the EU provides for a bigger choice of products 19

21 There is widespread belief that the Internal Market is only for the benefit of big companies in Cyprus (79%), Austria (76%) and Greece (76%), and over 60% of people think this in 16 Member States. Relatively few people agree in Denmark (36%), Malta (37%) and Sweden (43%), however. The Internal Market in the EU is only for the benefit of big companies The notion that the Internal Market has flooded individual Member States with cheap labour is most prevalent in Cyprus, where an exceptionally high 96% agree. Overall agreement is also high in Greece (71%), Belgium (70%), Austria (70%), the UK (68%) and the Netherlands (66%). A majority of people feel this way in 18 EU countries. However, agreement is very low in Latvia (23%), Estonia (24%) and Lithuania (28%). The Internal Market in the EU has flooded (our country) with cheap labour 20

22 A high proportion of people in Cyprus (87%) and Greece (85%) judge that the Internal Market includes too many different countries and at least 50% of people in 17 Member States also agree with this. Citizens in Romania (30%), Sweden (33%) and Poland (37%) are the least likely to agree. The Internal Market in the EU includes too many different countries The belief that the Internal Market provides more jobs in the EU is widely held in Slovakia (80%), Finland (75%) and Bulgaria (72%), with a majority agreeing in all but six EU Member States. Agreement is relatively low in France (39%), Portugal (40%) and Hungary (47%). There are strong levels of disagreement recorded in Sweden (55%), the Netherlands (46%) and Luxembourg (46%). The Internal Market in the EU provides for more jobs in the EU 21

23 73% of people in Finland take the view that the EU strengthens their country in competition with the USA, Japan or China, as do 65% of people in the Netherlands and 62% in Austria. Opinion is divided on this, and only in 10 Member States is there a majority who agree. People in Latvia (28%), Slovenia (32%) and Lithuania (34%) are the least likely to agree. There are strong levels of disagreement recorded in Greece (53%), Slovenia (56%) and Latvia (59%). The Internal Market in the EU strengthens (our country) in his competition with the USA, Japan or China The Internal Market is seen as being responsible for the worsening of working conditions in individual EU countries by 79% of people in Cyprus, 74% in Greece and 71% in Slovenia. A majority of people agrees with this in 14 Member States. Only a minority agrees in Bulgaria (29%), Malta (29%) and Estonia (31%). Strong levels of disagreement are recorded in Denmark (57%), Sweden (57%) and Estonia (56%). The Internal Market in the EU has worsened working conditions in (our country) 22

24 The Internal Market does a good job of ensuring fair competition between companies in the EU for 64% of people in Cyprus, and 60% of those in the Netherlands and Finland also agree. A majority agrees in 13 Member States. Not so many people agree in France (30%), however, or in Latvia (33%), Greece (37%) and the Czech Republic (37%). The Internal Market in the EU ensures a fair competition between companies in the EU 77% of people in Cyprus agree that the Internal Market has led to lower prices for products and services, with 57% in Slovenia and 55% in Italy and Finland also agreeing. While over half of citizens agree with this in 11 Member States, agreement is not so widespread in Latvia (27%) and Estonia (33%). People in Latvia (65%) and Belgium (61%) are most likely to actively disagree. The Internal Market in the EU leads to lower prices for products and services in the EU 23

25 Relatively high numbers of people agree with the criticism that the Internal Market lowers national standards for consumer protection in the EU in Slovenia (59%), Austria (58%) and Cyprus (54%), with a majority agreeing in eight countries. Agreement is particularly low in Malta (14%) The Internal Market in the EU lowers national standards for consumer protection The idea that the Internal Market poses a threat to national identity and culture receives most support in Cyprus (59%), Slovenia (58%) and Lithuania (54%). A majority of people agrees with this argument in seven Member States, and agreement is lowest in Bulgaria (25%), Malta (27%) and Sweden (28%). Disagreement is strongest in Sweden (65%), Luxembourg (63%), the Netherlands (61%) and Denmark (60%). The Internal Market in the EU is a threat to national identity and culture 24

26 The Internal Market is credited with helping to tackle climate change by 57% of people in Sweden, and 53% of those in both Slovakia and Italy. In only seven countries do at least half agree with this. Agreement is lowest in Latvia (18%), the UK (29%) and Cyprus (30%). Two thirds (66%) disagree in Latvia. The Internal Market in the EU tackles climate change That the Internal Market has increased the standard of living in the EU is widely accepted in some countries, notably Denmark, Finland and Bulgaria (all 60%). A majority agrees in only nine Member States, however, and agreement is especially low in Hungary (26%), the UK (30%) and France (30%). Seven in ten of those in Hungary (70%) actively disagree that it has led to an increase in the standard of living. The Internal Market in the EU has increased the standard of living 25

27 Slovakia (52%) and Finland (51%) are the only two countries in which a majority of citizens agree that the Internal Market has helped to limit the negative impact of the financial crisis. Less than 40% of people agree in 17 Member States, with agreement lowest especially in Greece (21%), followed by Romania (29%) and Slovenia (29%). Three quarters (74%) disagree in Greece that the Internal Market has helped in this regard. The Internal Market in the EU has limited the negative impact of the financial crisis While a small majority of people agree that the Internal Market benefits poor and disadvantaged people in Denmark (55%) and Cyprus (50%), only in seven countries do more than 40% of people share this opinion. Agreement is low in many countries, including Greece (26%), Spain (27%) and France (27%) with high levels of disagreement in Greece (70%), Hungary (66%), Germany (63%) and Belgium (63%). The Internal Market in the EU benefits poor or disadvantaged citizens 26

28 The breakdown of results of the EU12 and EU15 Member States suggests that EU15 citizens are more likely to agree with some of the negative statements about the Internal Market. For example, 63% of people in the EU15 think the Internal Market has flooded their country with cheap labour, compared with 40% in the EU12; only 49% of EU15 citizens think it provides for more jobs in their country, as opposed to 63% in the EU12; and 53% in the EU15 say it has worsened working conditions, compared with 45% in the EU12. People in the EU12 are more inclined to think that the Internal Market has raised standards of living in their country (45%, compared to 37% in the EU15), and are more inclined to think that it benefits poor citizens (37%, compared to 31% in the EU15). However, EU15 citizens are more inclined to believe that the Internal Market strengthens their country in comparison with others such as the USA (52%, as opposed to 43% in the EU12). The socio-demographic data suggest that men are more positive about the Internal Market. For example, 50% of men agree that the Internal Market leads to lower prices for products and services in the EU, compared with 42% of women; and 54% of men agree that it strengthens their own country in competition with the USA, Japan or China, compared with 48% of women. However, women tend not to be more negative, rather they are more likely to say that they don t know what effect the Internal Market has. In terms of age, it appears that older citizens are the least likely to agree that the Internal Market has positive effects. For example, only 48% of over-55s agree that the Internal Market provides for more jobs in the EU, but this rises to 51% for the group, 56% for the group, and again to 59% for the age bracket. Older citizens are more inclined to agree that the Internal Market has certain negative effects, such as worsening working conditions in their country. 54% of over-55s agree with this, as do 53% of people in the group; but only 49% of year-olds and 46% of year-olds agree. Level of education has a more marked effect on responses than either age or gender, with better-educated citizens much more likely to believe that the Internal Market brings benefits. 60% of people who left education aged 20 or over agree that the Internal Market provides for jobs in the EU, for example, whereas only 52% of those in the group and 42% in the 15-and-under category agree with this. Conversely, 61% those who left education aged and 63% who left at 15-and-under agree that the Internal Market has flooded their country with cheap labour, compared with only 50% who believe this in the 20-and-over category. 27

29 As well as level of education, there are also clear differences in how the Internal Market is perceived by those who are aware of the freedoms which constitute it and those who are not. Those who mentioned one of the four freedoms at QD1 tended to be more positive on many aspects of the Internal Market compared with those who gave a different answer. Those who did not mention one of the four freedoms were much more likely to give a don t know response when presented with different statements about the Internal Market. Overall, those citizens who are better aware of the Internal Market (who mentioned at least one of the four freedoms) are more likely to have positive perceptions and to acknowledge the benefits of the Internal Market. 28

30 Difference in perceptions by awareness of the Internal Market at QD1 Mention any of freedoms (Base: 4,424) No freedoms mentioned (Base: 22,412) Agree Disagree Agree Disagree Provides for a bigger choice of products 86% 14% 83% 17% Is only for the benefit of big companies 63% 37% 73% 27% Has flooded (OUR COUNTRY) with cheap 59% 41% 67% 33% labour Includes too many different countries 61% 39% 65% 35% Strengthens (OUR COUNTRY) in 66% 34% 61% 39% competition with the USA, Japan or China Has worsened working conditions in 52% 48% 61% 39% (OUR COUNTRY) Ensures a fair competition between 59% 41% 57% 43% companies in the EU Leads to lower prices for products and 57% 43% 53% 47% services in the EU Lowers national standards for consumer 50% 50% 57% 43% protection Is a threat to national identity and 38% 62% 48% 52% culture Tackles climate change 49% 51% 51% 49% Has increased the standard of living 47% 53% 44% 56% Provides for more jobs in the EU 66% 34% 61% 39% Has limited the negative impact of the 45% 55% 45% 55% financial crisis Benefits poor or disadvantaged citizens 38% 62% 38% 62% For ease of comparison, the table above excludes all who gave a don t know response. 29

31 Economic status is also a factor. EU citizens who almost never have trouble paying their bills appear to be the most appreciative of the Internal Market. For example, 49% of those who almost never have such problems agree that the Internal Market ensures fair competition between companies in the EU, as do 47% of those who sometimes have trouble; however, only 37% of those who have trouble most of the time agree with this. While 59% of EU citizens who almost never have trouble paying their bills agree that the Internal Market only benefits big companies, this increases to 65-66% of people who have trouble from time to time or most of the time. Wealthier citizens are also more inclined to agree that the Internal Market benefits poor or disadvantaged citizens. While 33-34% of people who almost never have trouble paying their bills or who have trouble from time to time agree that the Internal Market is good for the poor, only 27% of those who have difficulty most of the time see it this way. EU citizens who have worked or would consider working in another Member State are more likely to agree that the Internal Market brings benefits. For example, 61% of those who have worked in another Member State and 61% of those who would consider doing so agree that the Internal Market provides for more jobs in the EU, as opposed to 50-51% of those who have not worked or would not consider working in another EU country. Looking overall at the variations between individual Member States, some patterns tend to emerge. Citizens in Cyprus tend to have more strongly held opinions about the Internal Market, both positive and negative. Citizens in Finland and Slovakia are more likely to be positive, while people in France, Greece and the UK are often less likely to feel that the Internal Market brings benefits. People in Austria, Greece and Slovenia are among those most inclined to agree that the Internal Market has certain negative effects, while those in Estonia, Malta and Sweden are among the least likely to agree that it has some detrimental aspects. A high proportion of EU citizens consistently say they don t know what kind of impact the Internal Market has in Ireland, Malta, Portugal, Romania and the UK. 30

32 2. FREE MOVEMENT OF WORKERS AND REGULATED PROFESSIONALS Having examined people s perceptions of the Internal Market in the first chapter, Chapter 2 explores the attitude of EU citizens to the free movement of labour. Some of this section s most significant conclusions are as follows: Around one in 10 citizens have worked in another Member State, though a much higher proportion has done so in Luxembourg (35%) and Ireland (21%). More than half of the EU population (53%) is simply not interested in working abroad Almost one in three citizens (28%) would consider working in another Member State in the future, although this ranges from 71% in Sweden and 46% in Finland down to 15% in Austria and 13% in Cyprus. The language barrier and family considerations are the two main reasons why people choose not to work in another EU country. The difficulty in finding an appropriate job comes third as a barrier for EU12 citizens while cultural differences do so in the EU15. Two-thirds of people believe that doctors and nurses are free to work in any EU Member State, although awareness of this ranges from 90% in Cyprus to 48% in Italy. While a high proportion of people in some countries, such as Cyprus (77%) and Luxembourg (70%) have seen a doctor from another EU country, this is much lower in some countries such as Bulgaria (6%) and Romania (7%). Two-thirds (64%) of EU citizens are happy to be treated by a doctor from anywhere in the EU, although this ranges from 82% in Malta down to just 33% in Austria. 31

33 2.1 Free movement of workers in the EU Working in another EU Member State -- 10% of citizens in the EU have worked in another Member State, and 28% of people say they would consider doing so -- Experience of working in another EU Member State The vast majority of EU citizens - 90% - say that they have not worked in a Member State other than their home country 7. 7% of EU citizens say they have worked in another Member State in the past, while 3% say they work in another Member State at the moment. These results are in line with those of the 2009 survey, in which 8% of EU citizens said they had formerly worked in another Member State in the past, and 3% said they were doing so currently. Looking at the results from individual EU Member States, two countries stand out as having an exceptionally high proportion of people who work or have worked in another EU Member State: Luxembourg, where 35% work or have worked in another EU country, and Ireland, where 21% have done so. By contrast, relatively few people have had this experience in the Czech Republic (4%), Malta (6%) and Bulgaria (6%). 7 QD2a: Have you worked or do you currently work in an EU Member State other than your "home country" (i.e. where you lived most of your life)? By working, we mean working for a longer term, at least 6 months or more, for a company or as a self-employed in the other country. This excludes business trips, or short term deployments from your company to another EU Member State. Possible answers: yes, in the past; yes, currently; no; don t know. 32

34 At least 10% of people work/ have worked in another EU country at some stage in 17 Member States. Luxembourg has by far the most people working abroad in the EU at the moment (19%), with Belgium having the second highest proportion at 6%. While Luxembourg and Ireland both scored highly in the 2009 survey, the results for some other countries have changed considerably: before, 20% of people in the Czech Republic said they worked/ had worked in another Member State, but now only 4% say this. Experience of working in another EU Member State by individual Member State There are only minor differences between responses from people in the EU12 and EU15 countries on the subject of whether individuals have worked, or would like to work, in other Member States. However, 3% of EU15 citizens say they are currently working in another Member State, compared with 1% of EU12 citizens. EU15 citizens are also slightly more likely to say that they would consider working in another Member State (28%, compared with 24% of EU12 citizens). 33

35 Only 14% of people in the EU15 say they are put off working abroad because there are too many obstacles, but 21% of EU12 citizens cite this as a problem for them. Analysis of the socio-demographic data reveals that male EU citizens are slightly more likely to work/ have worked in another EU Member State than female EU citizens (12%, compared with 8% for women). The respondent s age also has some impact on whether he or she has experience of working elsewhere in the EU, with younger EU citizens most likely to have done so. 14% of year-olds have worked in another EU country at some stage, compared with 11% in the group, 8% in the 55+ category, and 6% in the age band. The individual s level of education also influences the likelihood that he or she will have worked abroad. 16% of people who finished their education aged 20 or over say they work or have worked in another EU country, compared with 9% of people who left school aged and 8% of those who left at 15 or under. 34

36 Turning to the question of whether EU citizens would consider working in another EU country 8, the data reveal that most EU citizens are generally unwilling to consider working abroad. While almost three in ten (28%) of people say that they would consider it, this figure is lower than in the 2009 survey (35%). Over half (53%) of EU citizens say they would not on the grounds that they are just not interested. 15% of people say they would not work elsewhere in the EU because they perceive there to be too many obstacles. Willingness to work in another EU Member State Looking at the results from individual EU members, it becomes clear that there are large variations in how citizens regard the idea of working in another EU country. The Nordic countries are most enthusiastic. In Sweden, an exceptionally high 71% of people say they would consider working elsewhere, as do 46% in Finland, 43% in Latvia, 42% in Estonia and 40% in Denmark. In the Czech Republic and Austria only 13% and 15% of people respectively say they would think about taking a job abroad. At least one-third of people are interested in working in another EU country in only seven Member States. EU citizens who say they would not consider working in another Member State tend to be simply not interested in doing this, rather than being put off by the potential obstacles. In all 27 countries, a lack of interest is cited by more people as a reason not to go abroad than the potential obstacles. 8 QD2b Would you consider working in another EU Member State than (OUR COUNTRY)? Possible answers: yes, in the past; no, because you are not interested; no, because there are too many obstacles; don t know. 35

37 A large proportion of EU citizens in Austria (67%) and in Luxembourg (65%) say they are simply not interested in working in another EU country. EU citizens in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Finland (25%) are most likely compared with other countries to refer to perceived obstacles as their reason for not wanting to work abroad. Willingness to work in another EU Member State by individual Member State The socio-demographic data suggests that men are generally more open to considering the idea of working in another EU country than women. 31% of male EU citizens say they would consider it, compared with 24% of women. Women are more inclined to reject the idea of working abroad due to lack of interest (56%, compared with 50% for men). 36

38 Younger EU citizens are much more receptive to the idea of working elsewhere in the EU than older people. 54% of year-olds say they would be interested in doing this, but this falls to 38% for the age group, to 27% for the group, and 10% for the 55+ category. People with a higher level of education are also more likely to be interested in working abroad. 36% of people who finished their education at 20 or over express an interest in working in another EU country, but only 23% of people who left school aged and 12% of those who left at 15 or under do so. 37

39 2.1.2 Obstacles to working in another EU Member State -- The language barrier is the main reason that people opt not to work in another EU country, with family considerations also a factor -- The language barrier is the practical difficulty of most concern to EU citizens when it comes to the possibility of working in another EU country 9. Four in ten (39%) of people regard this as the main obstacle. 23% cite family considerations as the main impediment. In the 2009 survey, 38% said the language barrier was the most important obstacle and 22% cited family considerations as the major constraint. Only a very small number of people mention other potential barriers as the main obstacle. 4% of people mention the difficulty of finding an appropriate job; the bureaucracy involved; and cultural differences. 2% say they cannot afford it; worry that their qualifications won t be recognised; have concerns about social security standards; or say they lack information about the opportunities. 1% mention tax implications, while 7% of people cite other obstacles as the first difficulty. A further 7% of people say that they see no practical difficulties in working in another EU country. 9 QD3a In relation to working in another EU Member State, what do you or would you consider as the main practical difficulty for you? Firstly? And secondly? (DO NOT READ OUT - DO NOT SHOW CARD - PRE-OPENED QUESTION) Possible answers: cultural differences; bureaucracy involved; family considerations; tax implications; you cannot afford to live in another EU Member State; your qualifications will not be recognised and you will not find a corresponding job ; lack of information about the opportunities; difficulty in finding an appropriate job; you are concerned that social security standards (such as pensions, healthcare or unemployment) are lower ; other; none; don t know. 38

40 Most important practical difficulty for working in another EU Member State When analysing both most important and second most important obstacles together, language barriers remain the most commonly cited obstacle, with 52% of people placing this either first or second. Next comes family considerations, quoted first or second by 39% of EU citizens, followed by difficulty in finding an appropriate job (13%) and cultural differences (12%). 12% of EU citizens mention other obstacles, with the other potential barriers cited by only a few people either first or second. 39

41 Main practical difficulties for working in another EU Member State At individual country level, language barriers is the first response in 21 Member States, while family considerations is the most popular response in eight countries % of people in Spain and France put the possible language barriers first on their list of concerns, but this is much less of an issue in Malta (8%). People in Malta (48%) are much more likely to be concerned about family considerations, as are those in Denmark (35%), Greece (34%), Cyprus and Austria (32% respectively); but this is less of an issue in Lithuania (14%), the UK (15%) and France (16%). While few people overall cite other reasons for not working abroad first, relatively high numbers of EU citizens in some Member States do point to certain considerations. For example, 11% of people in Italy are concerned primarily by cultural differences. 8% of people in Belgium are most put off by the bureaucracy. 13% of people in Bulgaria think they will have most trouble finding an appropriate job, as do 11% in Portugal and 10% in Romania. 10 These two answers were equally popular in two countries (Belgium and Sweden). 40

42 Most important practical difficulty for working in another EU Member State Looking at the combined first and second main obstacles, 67% of people in Spain say the language barrier is the first or second biggest issue followed by 63% in Lithuania and 62% in France; this compares with only 13% of those in Malta. Family considerations are the main or secondary problem for a large proportion of EU citizens in Malta (61%), Greece (51%) and the Czech Republic (50%), but less so for those in the UK (26%), Bulgaria (31%), Lithuania (31%), and Estonia (31%). Difficulty finding a job is a big issue for people in Bulgaria (33%) and Romania (28%), while 26% of people in Italy describe cultural differences as the first or second biggest obstacle. 17% of people in Belgium and 16% in Italy point to the bureaucracy involved as a significant barrier, while 22% of EU citizens in Denmark and 18% in the Netherlands say they are concerned that social security standards may be lower in other Member States. 41

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