Eighty one per cent of Irish people view the EU as a place of stability in a troubled world, the 3rd highest in the EU after Portugal (83%) and Denmark (82%).
This is according to a special Eurobarometer poll on the Future of Europe. The EU average is 66% with people in the Netherlands least likely to agree at 53%.
Irish people see the main assets of EU membership as being the economic, industrial and trading power of the EU (34%) and the standard of living of EU citizens (33%). On average across the EU, respondents see the main assets as being the economic, industrial and trading power of the EU followed by the EU's respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law (both 33%).
Furthermore, Irish respondents see the three main challenges facing the EU as unemployment (42%), migration issues (36%), and terrorism and security issues (33%). Across the EU, respondents see the three main challenges facing the EU as unemployment (45%) followed by social inequalities and migration issues (both 36%).
The data shows that 59% of Irish respondents agree globalisation threatens Ireland's identity. On average across the EU, 53% of people think that globalisation threatens their country’s identity with a high of 70% in Greece and a low of 36% in Sweden and Finland.
A majority of Irish people have a positive view of Germany (73%), France (74%), the UK (67%), the US (72%) and the EU (80%). They are however less likely to have a positive view of China (49%) and Russia (31%).