Only 44 percent of the Italians will vote to stay in the EU if a referendum on this topic is held tomorrow, reveals an unpublished Eurobarometer survey released in the media on Wednesday. Italy and the Czech Republic (47 percent) are the only two countries that do not have a majority wanting to remain in the EU. The majority of the 53 percent in the UK will now vote to remain in the EU, according to the same study.

The conclusions of the study are divergent when it comes to the way in which the European future is perceived.

The European Commission and Italy do not hide their recently tense relations and Brussels can reject the new budget of the country, which provides for a tripling of the public deficit ratio to gross domestic product. The budget of each Member State in the EU is monitored by the European Commission and the other Member States within the so-called European Semester. The aim of monitoring is that no country deviates from the budget deficit and public debt norms and thus jeopardises the stability of the common currency, as has happened in the years of the debt crisis.

Juncker’s statement means that the Commission will probably offer this approach to Italy, which means a conflict between Brussels and the government in Rome, composed of two anti-European parties, the left-populist movement “5 stars” and the right-wing “Northern League”.

On the other hand, the results show that more than ever Europeans still believe that their country’s membership in the European Union is a good thing (62 percent). This is the highest point measured over the last 25 years. According to 68 percent, their country has benefited from its EU membership, which represents the highest percentage since 1983.

In Bulgaria, the positive attitude towards EU membership is lower than the EU average: 55 percent of respondents said the country’s membership was a good thing (54 percent in April 2018). At the same time, the proportion of Bulgarians who believe Bulgaria has benefited from its membership in the EU is 60%. This represents an increase of three percentage points from the study in April 2018. The opposite opinion is shared by 24 percent of respondents. Those who have no opinion are 8 percent in the EU and 16 percent in Bulgaria.

A significant drop of 4 percentage points compared to the study conducted six months before also marked the satisfaction of the Bulgarians from the democratic functioning of the EU – in September this percentage was 48.

The explanation of such divergences in attitudes lies in the areas that the EU has been experiencing in recent times. Even without talking necessarily about a ‘sovereignty crisis’, it is clear that nationalist parties in the various European countries today are receiving unprecedented support.

The most common explanation for this choice lies in the human perception that a strong national country – and not a supranational unification – would be more capable of dealing with a conflict or threat of such scales.

There is a feeling that European institutional settlements are shaken and there can be no trust in their judging and actions; that, with the incursion of refugee flows, the chance of assimilation and a violation of the status quo and order in the country, etc., is increased. Social, political, financial and cultural aspects are being intertwined into an unprecedented charge, rising unprecedented questions about the future.