The EP and the expectations of European citizens
This first, post-European elections standard "Parlemetre" functions as a primary post-electoral account of European citizens' perception of the European Parliament, and the image that the institution represents to them. In view of the 2014 elections, this survey acts equally to determine which of the policies defended by the European Parliament are perceived as priorities in the eyes of Europeans, and the values which the institution must defend in priority.
To better understand the results, it is essential to remember that this survey was conducted in late January - mid February 2010. Thus, it was carried out prior to the considerable monetary pressures which are currently afflicting the EU.
The reader should also note that it is necessary to take into account not only the overall results, but also those pertaining to each Member State, as there are considerable national variations for all questions.
- Europeans' media recall of the European Parliament is significantly increasing. It has risen from 42% at the end of 2007 to 62% today.
- Although knowledge about the European Parliament is on the rise, respondents still have a limited knowledge about the institution's activities. This stands at 30% (+7 percentage points).
- For Europeans, the Parliament should, as a matter of priority, defend policies to combat the crisis. Tackling poverty and social exclusion is the highest ranked policy priority, leading the way with a 44% European average. It is followed by consumer and public health protection (35%) and the fight against climate change (34%).
- In terms of the values to be defended by the European Parliament, respondents accord by far the highest ranking to the protection of human rights (62%), followed by equality between men and women and freedom of speech (both 36%).
- Finally, a clear majority of Europeans (55%; +7) would like to see the Parliament play a more important role.