As the date of the referendum vote fast approaches, we spoke to people from other EU countries, some who live in Britain now, about what they think of the UK and its relationship to the European Union.

We asked them all the same set of questions regarding Brexit to compare how opinions vary from country to country.

Sebastian Buchspies, 27, Berlin

A man walks alongside the East Side Gallery
Sebastian lives in Berlin (Markus Schreiber/AP)

What’s your opinion of the UK’s role within the EU?
Basically, the UK’s role within the EU is to provide the global political perspective that Germany often lacks while countering the drive for further sharing financial risks and burdens that France and some of the southern member states are often bringing to the table. It’s also promoting the single market, which is in Germany’s interest.

I admire what the British offer to the whole of Europe, e.g the inner dependency, the values of liberal democracy, the expressiveness of their arts. I’d like the UK to continue being Europe’s cultural dynamo and start formulating a political vision for the EU.

How does that compare with the country you are from?
The past decade probably marks the shift in Germany’s foreign and European policy from being bystanders to becoming the major policy setter in the EU. Think Greece. Think Russia. Her role is looked upon controversially across the continent.

I cannot help but think that the UK has become a bystander while it has been preoccupied with the Scottish referendum and the new referendum. This has saved it from a lot of controversy, but one wonders what role it wants to play on the international stage.

Do you think the UK should remain or leave the EU? Why?
I hope the UK votes remain. This might help to prevent the EU from becoming politically less stable and economically less sound. But a lot of the uncertainty should persist if the vote is nearly split.

Louisa Rogers, 21, Brussels

Louisa Rogers
Louisa is Belgian but now lives in the UK (Louisa Rogers/PA)

What’s your opinion of the UK’s role within the EU?
I have rarely thought about the role of the UK within the EU as separate from the role of other countries in the union, until the Brexit question came to the fore. I always relate the UK, in diplomatic terms, primarily with regards to the ‘special relationship’ between the UK and the USA.

In real terms, the UK doesn’t feel like the rest of Europe. They don’t have the euro, we (the UK) aren’t a part of Schengen, barely anyone native to England is bilingual. While on the continent there is a sense of solidarity and of mobility across the countries, languages and cultures. In the UK they still see themselves as ‘different’ and ‘special’ and that’s not always negative, but it can set them apart from the rest of the EU as a more outdated, protectionist and isolationist state.

How does that compare with the country you are from?

The European Commission
The European Commission in Brussels (Virginia Mayo/AP)

With Brussels being the ‘heart’ of the EU, there is a much higher awareness of the European Institutions and the European mechanism than there is in the UK. I do feel that the most vocal Brexiteers have never even looked into how the EU functions before this referendum was announced, and I feel that many more simply do not know or care. I was shocked by my English counterparts’ lack of enthusiasm, or even criticism of the EU.

I think it is difficult for England to understand the importance of supranational issues because we (the UK) feel, as an island, protected from the problems and trends on the continent. If one good thing comes out of this referendum, it will be an increased level of engagement with political issues, and demonstrate the will of the British people to engage with these issues and debate them.

Do you think the UK should remain or leave the EU? Why?

I believe the UK should stay within the EU. No institution is perfect, and the EU is a completely unique mechanism in the world. It is important to remember that ‘getting it right’ does not happen overnight, and a governing body so huge and complex will require ample time to adjust to the world it finds itself in. Real progress is made when countries band together, and the European values of secularism, democracy and collaboration are, in my opinion, well worth rallying behind.

With other countries on our side, we have more influence, more power, more neighbours we can call on for co-operation and trade. Brexit will mean consciously walking away from that, forgetting how the EU helped to build up our economy after the war and saying “we’re giving up”. And I would really hate to see that happen.

Max Markl, 24, Munich

Balloons fly around the 'Bavaria' statue as part of the Oktoberfest orchestra
Max is German but studies in Aberdeen (Matthias Schrader/AP)

What’s your opinion of the UK’s role within the EU?
I think the UK has been a strong partner of the other European nations:  London is the financial heart of the EU, it has the most powerful military in the EU and is a long term partner for the EU’s arms development. The UK clearly has a leading role in the EU.

Now that the UK is holding this referendum the other EU nations have shown how far they are willing to go to keep the UK in Europe, even making concessions to the free movement rule by agreeing to restricted access to the welfare system.

How does that compare with the country you are from?
Generally speaking Germans identify as Europeans. Many young people have memories of travelling to their neighbouring countries in their childhood and being welcomed by the French, the Austrians, Italians or Croatians to name just a few. The physical closeness to those countries and the constant interactions with people from the rest of the EU fuel a European spirit in Germany.

The fact that for decades, taking pride in being German was inappropriate and frowned upon meant that people either chose to nurture a pride for their cities or regions or they chose to be proud of being Europeans. For Germany, the EU also meant that Germany could suddenly be friendly with former wartime enemies. I think being a partner nation in the EU showed many Germans that the country was forgiven. I believe many Germans find the idea of an ever closer union more appealing than the British do and they have fewer objections to the expansion of the EU.

Do you think the UK should remain or leave the EU? Why?

Remain campaigners
Remain campaigners (Will Oliver/PA)

I believe the UK should remain in the EU, the UK’s markets are woven so deeply into the fabric that is the European economy I believe that it would be very damaging to all EU nations, including the UK, if Britain decided to quit the EU. The Eurosceptics in Britain raise valid points when it comes to EU bureaucracy, the democratic structure of the institution, but in the end the UK can help to shape and improve the EU further but this only works if the UK is part of the EU.

I would like for the UK to remain, however, not at all costs. If the remain of the UK meant we are further undermining the principle of the free movement of the people and the principle of equality, then I would rather see the UK leave. The EU has found plenty of compromises to its regulations to keep the UK satisfied with its membership, like rebates to the membership payments, special financial market rules or a Schengen-agreement opt-out, but these compromises to keep the UK happy can’t make the EU a toothless tiger.

We need solidarity, friendship and equality, it is the foundation of peace and prosperity in Europe. This means giving an eastern European the same rights in the EU as a German or a Briton. If equality fails, the EU has failed.

Gabriela, 24, Greece

A demonstrator raises his hand with the Greek word ''No''
Gabriela lives in Greece (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

What’s your opinion of the UK’s role within the EU?
My opinion about the UK’s role within the EU is that firstly they are top dogs. They hold a different currency, (which is not really affected by the other European countries) in my opinion the EU itself is a massive joke. There is no alliance, the only thing that matters is how much money each country is making and how many people they keep out – e.g the refugee crisis and the way that the UK literally decided to outsource the problem, by giving money to France to keep them there or by being a part of the decisions in bordering up and keeping people in Turkey.

How does that compare with the country you are from?
The country I am from, Greece, also had a referendum and we voted to leave the euro as we are not a country with super power. We do not export anything really and we are limited in doing so by the EU measures. I believe Greece is literally being grabbed by the neck and whatever decision the EU makes the people suffer and have to go along with it. Even voting to leave in the first place.

Do you think the UK should remain or leave the EU? Why?
I think the EU as mentioned before is a faulty mistake. One can not have a universal system that is rubbish in reality. But right now I can not say if it’s better for the UK to stay or leave. I think every country needs to re-establish its values and really try and focus on the life that is being destroyed rather then the financial gain one might have.