People see high national debt as a major risk for Europe

Debt ratio, refugee issues and unemployment: Germans are primarily concerned with what is happening in Europe. In the Allensbach survey, globalization is noticeably falling behind as an issue.

The Roland legal report shows: People mainly dealt with the issues on their own doorstep.

Dhe Germans see growing nationalism and national debt as great risks for the cohesion of the European Union. In the annual survey conducted by the Allensbach Institute on behalf of the Roland legal protection insurance, the doubts clearly outweigh the issues relating to internal European issues. The tense relationship between Europe and America, the trade conflicts and the consequences of globalization are far less of a concern for people.

However, the surveys for the “Roland Rechtsreport”, which will be presented on Thursday and excerpts from the FAZ in advance, took place in November 2019. The partial agreement in the trade dispute between China and America and the effects of the corona virus on the global economy were thus not taken into account.

Among the 1228 people questioned, fear of the constantly growing mountain of debt in Europe is growing. 72 percent currently consider national debt to be the greatest danger. With an increase in the flow of refugees (64 percent) and the growing gap between the poorer and richer countries (61 percent), migration and social inequality issues follow at the top of the list. Almost every second person is also concerned about the growing nationalism in Europe, a point that the Roland Rechtsreport 2020 pays more attention to.

Disagreement about “Germany First”

The authors of the study write that, from the point of view of the population, it is not the changes in other parts of the world that are relevant, but rather the “challenges within Europe”. These include the increasing nationalism that can now be observed in many European countries. 58 percent of those questioned are very concerned about the tendency that more and more countries in Europe are increasingly pursuing national interests. More than a third said they were less or not at all concerned about it. The pollsters decipher the statements also on the voting behavior of the people. Accordingly, the concern among politically left-wing voters is much more pronounced than among AfD supporters, for example. Only one in five of them said they were worried about the rise in nationalism. Overall, however, the focus on one’s own interests is losing to supporters (40 percent), a year ago it was 6 percentage points more.

The survey confirms an effect known from Donald Trump’s last presidential election campaign. It is mainly people with a low school leaving qualification who agree with the content of a “Germany First” orientation (51 percent). The thesis is much less popular among academics (29 percent). With a better school education, the opinion turns into the opposite: 55 percent consider the positioning of a stronger focus on national interests to be wrong.

Brussels should regulate a lot

At the European level, most of the respondents believe that there is an urgent need for uniform rules for the debt ratios of the EU states. A common foreign and security policy (78 percent), the debt policy coordinated via Brussels (73 percent) and migration issues (72 percent) also met with a high level of approval. In times of international economic scandals such as diesel fraud, at least 62 percent are in favor of uniform consumer protection.

The authors of the study write that the independence of the EU states should be preserved. 68 percent of those questioned continue to speak out against a European state and in favor of the previous alliance of the European Union. This value has thus remained stable since the turn of the millennium.

In the further part of the Roland Rechtsreport traditionally deals with the attitude of citizens to the German legal system and their attitude towards out-of-court dispute resolution. This shows that more and more people are addressing consumer arbitration boards and ombudsmen in conflicts. The number of civil lawsuits has been declining for years, adjusted for one-off effects such as the customer lawsuits against Volkswagen. According to the report, the Germans, who have been decried as contentious, would only go to a state court if the amount in dispute exceeds 1,840 euros.