1 in 20 Europeans don't know Baltics are EU members

  • 2007-08-30
  • By Mike Collier
BRUSSELS - A new survey carried out by the EU's Eurobarometer statistics wing reveals that a significant number of Europeans are unaware that the Baltic states have actually joined the EU.

Three years on from their accession as full EU member states, 5 percent of those surveyed think Lithuania is one of the countries currently applying to join, while 4 percent believe Estonia and Latvia are also hoping to join the European club some time soon.

Perhaps even more remarkably, 7 percent of the 27,000 respondents cited Poland as a country that is expected to be next in line to join the European Union.

Awareness of member states which joined the EU in 2004 or 2007 is lowest in insular Austria where around a quarter of respondents are unaware of the accession of Bulgaria and Romania and 16 percent seem not to know that Poland and Hungary joined the EU in 2004 's despite the fact that Austria shares a border and significant historical links with Hungary.

The data also reveal that now that they are indeed full members of the EU, the Baltic States are not particularly interested in what is happening in countries bordering the EU. 55 percent of Estonians, 62 percent of Latvians and 71 percent of Lithuanians say they are not interested.