On October 18, the BBC reported that

At the EU summit, French President Emmanuel Macron led a small number of countries in rejecting the Western Balkan countries from moving forward with their membership bids. He was joined by Denmark and the Netherlands in refusing Albania but France alone rejected North Macedonia. All EU states must agree before approval is given for membership talks to begin.

The French decision to veto the opening of talks with these was criticized even by Juncker as a "historic mistake" even though (in 2014) Juncker had pledged there would be no actual EU expansion during his tenure as Commission president (although Juncker said even then that expansion talks should continue).

On the other hand, the Yellow Vests riots in France sometimes had an anti-EU character. Or at least they translated into a vote for the eurosceptic RN (former FN) in the recent EU elections:

According to an opinion poll by Ifop published two days before the elections, however, 44% of those who supported the Yellow Vest movement said they would vote for the far-right National Rally (RN), with only 4% declaring they’d vote for President Emmanuel Macron’s La République en Marche (LREM).

“Very clearly, the ‘Yellow vests’’ true political outlet in these EU Parliament elections is the RN”, PollingVox president Jérôme Sainte-Marie argued.

As for the actual results of those EU elections in France

[RN] won in the rural, depressed and deindustrialized areas of northern, south-central and eastern France that spawned the six-month Yellow Vest revolt that shook Mr. Macron’s presidency.

And Macron couldn't have been completely insensitive to these facts. So, are there some recent polls in France on the [im]popularity of further EU enlargement, and preferably on enlargement in the Balkan countries in particular?

1 Answer 1


The most recent Eurobarometer survey from 2018 gives the following results for overall public support for EU expansion:

survey results

As you can see, France is near the bottom, with only 31% support (the link above splits this down further by age and eduction).

Additionally, this summary of a pan-European citizen survey, carried out in the summer of 2017 in 15 EU states, gives the following results for the question:

“The EU should continue to let more countries become members, under the condition that they meet all of EU’s membership requirements”

support for EU expansion

The second through fourth columns use variants of the question that mention a specific country, as in:

“The EU should continue to let more countries become members, SUCH AS SERBIA, under the condition that they meet all of EU’s membership requirements”

As you can see, apart from on the Norway variant, France scores the lowest of all the surveyed countries, with only 37% supporting the Serbia variant.

  • 2
    Minor quibble: for the 2nd survey, 3.7 means the subjects rated the answer that way (on average) on a 0-10 scale. Nov 2, 2019 at 22:54
  • 1
    That's interesting that all 6 founding members of the EU are against an extension while Spain, an old member of the Union, is so much pro-extension.
    – Taladris
    Nov 23, 2019 at 4:09

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