Brexit has boosted the EU's standing with the public. Since the referendum in which Britons voted against remaining in the EU, the Union's approval ratings have risen almost everywhere – including Britain. These are the preliminary findings of "eupinions," a regular survey which is representative of the EU and its six largest member states, presenting a snapshot of public sentiment about the Union. "The looming Brexit seems to have been the best advertisement for the EU. Unfortunately many Britons are only now coming to recognize the advantages of a united Europe. Now both sides must agree on clear rules for the future, because there won't be an 'à la carte' Europe," says Aart De Geus, chairman and CEO of the Bertelsmann Stiftung.
Across Europe, approval of EU membership climbed to 62 percent in August 2016. For the previous survey in March 2016, and thus before Brexit, the figure was just 57 percent. The United Kingdom offered a similar picture – whereas not even half of the population were in favor of the EU before the referendum (49 percent), approval ratings climbed to 56 percent after Brexit. This means, according to "eupinions," that for the first time since 2015, the Britons are more pro-Europe than the French or the Italians, who only offered slim majorities in the current survey (53 and 51 percent, respectively) when questioned on their countries' continued membership of the EU.