Passionate supporters, angry critics and a neutral majority. The EU elicits a range of reactions. What's behind the preconceptions and skepticism? DW reporters go looking for answers in in Germany, Poland, Italy and Brussels.
What’s behind the preconceptions and skepticism? Our reporters go looking for answers in in Germany, Poland, Italy and Brussels.Is it really the case that hardworking countries pay for the less industrious ones? Reporter Jo Schück asks Ingo Egloff from the Hamburg Port if Germany really is the EU’s paymaster. In Poland, journalist Aleksandra Rybinska explains why many people see the EU as a bossy super-state, while judges and activists in Warsaw explain why the country’s judicial reform is alienating it from the EU. In Italy, reporter Katty Salié meets Yvan Sagnet, a political activist born in Cameroon who accuses the EU of failing to address urgent issues - chief among them, the distribution of refugees across member states. As a result, new arrivals in Italy, often without papers, have to stay in overcrowded camps in appalling conditions, and work as day laborers in the agricultural sector. The Center For Research on Right-Wing Extremism in Jena has observed how euro-skeptics are undermining European ideas from within, with far-right parties gaining traction in the European Parliament. In Brussels, the two reporters discover what the infamous bureaucratic behemoth looks like from the inside. They catch up with Damian Boeselager, co-founder of the first pan-European party, and gauge the mood in the heart of the bloc ahead of the European elections.