"Parlemeter" of the European Parliament 

The fieldwork of this new Parlemeter survey on the European Parliament was between 25 November and 17 December 2010. In view of the 2014 European elections, it is necessary to assess the perception that European citizens have of the European Parliament and the policies and values which the institution must defend.

Although with a very slight decrease, the results are characterized by a stabilisation of the key indicators. To better understand the results, we should remember that the last Parlemeter was published nine months after the elections, period during which the Europeans still remembered the June 2009 elections.

The general context of this survey is particularly marked by the financial, economic and social crisis and especially with the difficulties of the euro area and the debate on the European economic convergence.

Between the two surveys, the question of solidarity between Member States mobilised thinking on Europe.

A number of major trends can be drawn from these results

As in past surveys, the analysis of the results presented in this note demonstrates that the European averages* should be analysed in the light of national results. Thus, when we analyse the responses by Member state, there are large differences that can reach up to 52 percentage points and the evolution of the results by country can sometimes be important between the two surveys.

In summary, the main characteristics of the answers of the Europeans to this survey are as follows:

  • A slight decline in ‘media recall’
  • Still a limited knowledge of the European Parliament’s activities
  • A better understanding of the mode of operation of the European Parliament
  • Contrasting images of the European Parliament
  • A more important role for the European Parliament
  • The fight for values: Europeans always give priority to the protection of human rights
  • The battle against the crisis is at the core of the policy priorities to be led by the European Parliament

In the answers to the questions, a number of common features can be highlighted. In fact, we can see that:

  • Men say that they are more aware than women about matters relating to the European Parliament,
  • The more affluent social classes have a better knowledge of the European Parliament and its activities,
  • The youngest age group says it is the ‘worst informed’, while the 40-54 age group says it is the ‘best informed’,
  • Respondents seeking an enhanced role of the EP are those who say they are the best informed about its activities. A significant number of respondents who believe that they are not well informed do not have an opinion on the question of its role.

It should be remembered that the results of the seven most populated Member States accounted for about three quarters of the EU27average.