This seventh Parlemeter survey was carried out by TNS Opinion & Social between 17 November and 2 December 2012 and involved 26 739 European citizens from the 27 EU Member States.
The main findings of this survey can be summarised as follows:
- There has been a net increase in public interest in European affairs since 2006. The economic crisis has been a major preoccupation for Europeans since 2008, and this is certainly a consequence of the ‘europeanisation’ of the political debates that were held during the most recent national elections.
- Since autumn 2007, around a year and a half before the 2009 European elections, there has been an increase of 22 percentage points in citizens’ media recall of the European Parliament. However, media recall has fallen slightly since 2011.
- Europeans’ image of the European Parliament has remained more or less stable over the past year. For a relative majority, the European Parliament conjures up a neutral image, while positive and negative images were each mentioned by just over a quarter of Europeans. Three questions focused on the importance Europeans give to the role of the Parliament in the functioning of the EU:
- Three-quarters of Europeans think Parliament plays an important role today;
- An absolute majority of them would like to see Parliament play a larger role in the future;
- Finally, more than a third of Europeans think that Parliament’s role has been strengthened during the last ten years. However, this proportion has fallen significantly since 2007.
- There has been a marked change in the sources of information consulted by Europeans. For the first time in the history of this question, the Internet has become the second most frequently mentioned source among those that they would use to search for information about the European Parliament. The Internet still lags far behind television, which remains the principal source of information. However, the Internet now stands ten percentage points ahead of the written press.
- As was previously the case, an absolute majority of Europeans consider that tackling poverty is the policy that should be upheld as a matter of priority by the European Parliament. Coordinating economic policies comes in second place, cited by more than a third of respondents, followed by improving consumer and public health protection, cited by a third.
- The protection of human rights remains the most important value in the eyes of Europeans. Solidarity between EU Member States comes in second place, cited by more than a third of respondents and overtaking equality between men and women, which has dropped to third place alongside freedom of speech.