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Swedes wise up about EU citizenship

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14:25 CET+01:00
Swedes are more EU-friendly than the average member state citizen, and have also taken the time to learn more about what EU citizenship actually entails, a new survey shows.

A total of 76 percent of Swedes believe that the free movement of people within the EU benefits the Swedish economy, compared to an average of 67 percent of citizens across the 27-country bloc.

Residents of the UK and Cyprus were among the most EU-sceptic, with only 52 and 51 percent, respectively, agreeing that there were economic benefits to EU membership.

Romanians, meanwhile, had the most favourable views, with 88 percent agreeing that that EU membership had brought economic benefits to their country.

The findings come from the latest Eurobarometer survey, which examined how familiar Europeans are with their status as European citizens and their understanding of the rights that come with EU citizenship.

Swedes were also among the best informed about EU citizenship, with 85 percent aware that becoming a citizen of the EU isn't something one must ask for, compared to an EU average of 78 percent. Only the Czech Republic registered a higher result, with 87 percent.

The survey also found that Swedes have showed a marked improvement in their knowledge about EU citizenship in the last decade, while levels of understanding across most countries remained relatively flat.

In 2002, only 78 percent of Swedes were aware of the fact that they were both citizens of the EU and of Sweden. By 2012, the figure had climbed to 90 percent, slightly higher than the EU average of 89 percent, according to the Eurobarometer findings.

Since 2002, Swedes have also shown a substantial increase, 25 percent, in the percentage of respondents claiming they feel more informed about their rights as EU citizens.

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The results of the Eurobarometer survey are based on interview with 1,029 people carried out in November 2012.

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