The latest Eurobarometer survey, measuring public attitudes to the EU across member states, highlights that more people than ever consider their country’s membership of the European Union to be a good thing (62%). This is the highest figure recorded in the last 25 years. 68% are also of the view that their country has benefitted from EU membership – the highest figure since 1983. Nearly all results measuring support for the EU showed a significant upturn following the UK referendum in 2016, suggesting growing concern across the continent at the impact that Brexit will have and a growing awareness, due to the difficult negotiations, of the benefits of being a member of the EU. 66% of European respondents would vote for their country to remain a member of the EU (a majority in all member states) and only 17% would contemplate leaving, with 17% undecided.
Figures also show a growing sense of satisfaction amongst Europeans in the democratic functioning of the EU (49%), representing a three point increase since the previous survey in April, whilst 48% feel that their voice counts in the EU, though this latter sentiment appears to be on the decline in a number of countries. Despite significant and growing support for the EU in general, half of respondents are not happy with the direction the EU is heading in, with a similar result regarding their own country. Public opinion also seems quite stable in terms of expectations about the role of the EU in the future, with 48% wanting the EU to play a more important role, as opposed to 27% preferring less. As regards the image of Parliament across the EU, one third (32%) hold a positive view, one fifth (21%) a negative view and a relative majority (43%) remain neutral.
The 2018 Parlemeter also takes a closer look at citizens’ views on the upcoming European Parliament elections, showing an overall increased awareness about the next ballot while painting a multi-coloured picture of opinions and attitudes about the elections. 41% of Europeans can correctly identify the election date in May 2019 – a nine point increase over a similar survey six months ago. However 44% still could not say when the elections will be taking place. With 51% of citizens declaring to be interested in the elections, citizens’ campaign priorities have evolved over the past six-month period. Immigration now tops the agenda (50%) followed by economy (47%) and youth unemployment (47%), whilst combatting terrorism moves down to fourth place with 44%.
The survey was carried out between 8 and 26 September 2018.
27 474 Europeans aged 16 or more, were interviewed face-to-face in all 28 Member States.
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