The confidence in the European Union is at its lowest point since Bulgaria joined the family of the old continent.

This reveals the data from a national representative survey of the sociological agency. It was conducted between 8-12 June, interviewed directly “face-to-face” in their homes were 1010 adult Bulgarian citizens.

The institutions enjoying the highest trust among Bulgarian citizens are undoubtedly the national Ombudsman and the President of the Republic. In June, sociologists measured a positive trust of 60.3% and 58.4% respectively for the two institutions, which were inevitably more personal. These are also the institutions which, for the last year, are a clear leader when it comes to approval from the public.

Far back is the European Union, which is able to generate positive confidence among 45 per cent of the Bulgarians, but at this time, albeit with a little, retains its positive rating (greater trust than mistrust). Following a series of institutions with a traditional negative rating: the local authority and the law enforcement, respectively 41 and 37 per cent.

At the bottom are the executive and legislative powers – they are the most problematic. The cabinet enjoys the confidence of nearly 32 per cent, while parliament has managed to win the sympathies of only 23 per cent of Bulgarian citizens. Traditionally, confidence in the judiciary is low at 20%, but this level has not been moving for a long period of time. If Parliament’s credibility falls short, the senior authority will hit the end of the ranking.

The study shows that the credibility of the European Union is falling during the Bulgarian presidency. The negative trend is sustainable and if it continues to run in downward direction (logically after the end of the European presidency), the EU institutions will be ranked among the number of institutions with negative rating and this will send Bulgaria to the lines of Eurosceptic countries.

These results are surprising considering the fact that the majority of Europeans think that the economic situation is good and they are optimistic about the future of the EU. More and more citizens feel they have benefited from the EU’s key policies and, when it comes to trade, two thirds of Europeans want a strong EU. Finally, the majority of Europeans have a positive picture of the EU and the proportion of those who think that their opinion matters has reached its highest level since 2004. These are some of the main results of the latest Standard Eurobarometer survey held between 17 and 28 March.

It also shows that emigration is the main challenge facing the EU (38%). Terrorism is second (29%) and is still ahead of the economic situation (18%).