German confidence in the European Union is waning in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the findings of a new poll.
Fifty-five per cent of Germans now believe the EU’s political system is broken, the survey for the European Council for Foreign Relations (ECFR) found — a rise of 11 per cent compared to last November.
Only 36 per cent of Germans said they believe the EU’s political system is working, compared to more than half seven months ago.
And a third of Germans now believe European integration has gone too far, compared to 23 per cent last November.
The findings, while dramatic, do not suggest Germany is turning against the European project or that "Dexit" is likely any time soon.
The only Eurosceptic party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), suffered a crushing defeat in regional elections in one of its heartlands four days ago.
But the poll does suggest growing German disillusionment with how the EU is run — and the reason is not hard to spot.
The poll found 49 per cent of Germans said they have less confidence in the EU as a result of the coronavirus vaccine fiasco that saw the bloc fail to order enough doses, leaving it lagging behind the UK and US for months.
“The EU’s poor performance in the vaccine roll-out risks transforming Brexit from a cautionary tale about Euroscepticism into a story of liberation from the sluggish bureaucracy of Brussels institutions,” the ECFR said in a policy brief.
Many Germans are still smarting at Angela Merkel’s decision to entrust vaccine orders to the bloc, leaving Europe’s biggest economy struggling to catch up with the UK.
To add insult to injury, the EU failed to order enough doses under the leadership of a German commission head: Ursula von der Leyen.
Germany ‘s roll-out has since accelerated dramatically: 46.5 per cent have now had their first jab, while 22.8 per cent are fully vaccinated.
But that still leaves it behind the UK, where 59.7 per cent have had their first jab, and 42 per cent are fully vaccinated.