Chatham House Briefing

Exploring the Diversity of Views Across the EU

Image source/description: Pro-EU protesters in Athens, June 2015. Image: Milos Bicanski/Getty
Europe’s Political Tribes


  • Chatham House and Kantar Public surveyed over 10,000 Europeans about their views on a range of political and social issues. The data reveal six political ‘tribes’: broad segments of voters with distinct attitudes about the EU. These attitudes, which lie below the surface of the debate about Europe, show a rich cross section of public opinion, and how voters’ preferences are clustered across countries.
  • The largest tribe consists of what can be termed ‘Hesitant Europeans’. They sit in the middle on many issues, and need persuading on the merits of the EU. They tend to be apathetic about politics, are concerned about immigration and tend to prioritize national sovereignty over deeper EU integration.
  • ‘Contented Europeans’ are optimistic and pro-European. Often young and broadly socially liberal, they feel that they benefit from the EU but tend to favour the status quo over further integration.
  • ‘EU Rejecters’ are angry about politics and the EU. They are least likely to feel any benefits of membership, and overwhelmingly view the EU as undemocratic. Most feel negative about immigration and are socially conservative.
  • ‘Frustrated Pro-Europeans’ want a more integrated EU driven by progressive values. They support the idea of richer states helping poorer ones, but are more mixed about immigration than are other pro-Europeans.
  • ‘Austerity Rebels’ want a looser, more democratic EU driven by solidarity, with powers returned to member states. They tend to think that richer states should support poorer ones, and that each state should accept its fair share of refugees.
  • ‘Federalists’ make up the smallest tribe. They support a deeply integrated ‘United States of Europe’, feel that the EU has benefited them, and are the most positive about immigration. They tend to be wealthier, older and disproportionately male, with strong and diverse social networks.