We must have moved in different circles. Many Europeans still remembered past wars and welcomed efforts to bring European countries closer together and make them more interdependent. Some had doubts about the single currency but open borders between European countries were generally welcomed.
Not so much in the UK, at least amongst people I knew at the time.
Open borders were always seen as a risk and I think that has proven to be the case.
Of course, technically the UK border is not 'open' but the realpolitik situation appears to be that it is, given that they cannot deny EU citizens entry (or those who hold de facto EU citizenship), regardless of criminal background, ability or intention to work etc etc.
I've observed before that the EU is more popular amongst continental EU states than those with large physical boundaries which are expensive to cross. Hans wakes up in Dortmund and decides to go to France for the weekend. He gets in his Audi and drives 3 hours to his hotel. Cost - petrol. Dave wakes up in Nottingham and decides to do the same. He drives 3 hours to Dover, pays $400 for a ferry ticket, has to take a passport so he can get home again and then drives to his hotel in France. On the way back, he must declare the 2000 Gauloise he bought at the Tabac and HM Revenue & Customs decide that he has too much for 'personal use' and decide to levy $400 in VAT and excise duty...!
If travel to/from off-shore EU nations was free for EU passport holders (paid for by the EU collectively), I am sure that many people now not in favour would be in favour.