Germany’s Angela Merkel is enjoying her best year as chancellor, despite the country’s high unemployment rate.
But even at her peak, when the country was growing by 2.3 percent a year, the country enjoyed an almost normal relationship with the rest of the world, a European Union-wide survey found.
But a new Pew Research Center survey finds Germans’ relationship with Brussels has become strained in recent years, with Germans expressing deep concern about Brussels’ influence over them and the EU.
A growing number of Germans are increasingly uncomfortable with the EU and its political structures, and their attitudes toward the EU have become increasingly negative over the last few years, according to the Pew Research survey.
The survey also found that many Germans believe that the EU has become too liberal, with more than a quarter saying they see the EU as too liberal.
And while the percentage of Germans who said they are satisfied with the way the EU handles conflicts between member states has grown from 31 percent in 2015 to 41 percent last year, it remains a minority, with just 8 percent saying they are very satisfied with how the EU handled those conflicts in 2016.
At the same time, the percentage saying they would be more or less satisfied with EU membership has dropped from 36 percent in 2014 to 24 percent in 2016, according the survey.
Still, many Germans are not yet satisfied with their lives and want to return to the economic growth that was common before World War II.
About half of Germans surveyed in the survey said they would like to see the German economy grow faster than the EU average.
But most Germans say they would prefer to see a strong EU, and not a weak one, as Merkel has argued.
In her interview with German broadcaster ARD on Tuesday, Merkel also said that she would like Germany to remain a member of the European Union for a longer period of time, a statement that is likely to increase the chances of Germany becoming a member.
“We can’t be in this position,” Merkel said, when asked about the possibility of the country joining the EU again.
“It’s an extraordinary position to take and I’m sure that I will be judged for it,” she added.
When asked if the EU should have a “positive” role in its relations with other countries, Merkel said: “I do not think that I should be a critic.
I think that the Commission has an obligation to defend itself and to defend the rules.
I believe that it has an even stronger role to play.”
The survey was conducted March 3-6, 2017, among a random sample of 1,053 German adults.