Study on EU countries’ mutual relations

What do EU member states think about other countries? Find out in our article!

Below is a map that shows how favourable view Europeans have of other EU countries. The closer two countries are, the more favourable their view of one another. It’s like a map of social relations – only at the level of the whole EU. The map clearly illustrates that the division between the core and the periphery of the EU is very much reflected in people’s opinions. Old EU members are tightly packed in the center while new member countries are at the periphery.

Data about countries’ mutual favourability ratings was taken from

A couple of interesting observations:

1) While all core EU members are in the middle of the map, Greece (member of EU since ’81) is positioned at the periphery with all the newer members. The reason for this is most probably Greece’s recent reputation as a bit of a “troublemaker”.

2) Notice how countries in geographical proximity tend to end up very close to each other in the map – based only on how favourably they see each other and also other countries. The closeness could be based not only on “camaraderie” but also on ideological allignment, similar values etc.

3) There is, however, one very interesting exception to this rule – Bulgaria and Romania. These countries share a very long border (609 km) but they are very far apart on the sociomap. Any ideas why this might be?

Do you have any other interesting observations or ideas? We’ll bring you a little more in-depth look at the map in a couple of weeks.