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European Elections 2009

European Elections 2009


The results of this second Eurobarometer dedicated to the 2009 European Elections should be read bearing in mind that the survey was conducted at the height of the economic and financial crisis in October and November 2008. A number of trends are highlighted: concerns of an economic and social nature, already amongst the principal preoccupations since the previous survey in spring in 2008 (EB69), show a large increase. Europeans are more and more preoccupied by their personal situation. On the contrary, concerns of a collective nature show a clear decline: terrorism, immigration and climate change. During the crisis, interest in the European elections is still limited.

  • Campaign themes
    The three main themes, which emerged during the last survey, show a large increase: economic growth (51%, +6), unemployment (49%, +2), inflation and purchasing power (47%, +6). On the other hand, preoccupations linked to collective concerns have fallen considerably: insecurity (33%, -4), the fight against climate change (29%, -4), immigration (29%, -3) and terrorism (28%, -7).
  • Level of interest and likelihood of voting in the European Elections from 4 to 7 June 2009
    Awareness of the election date is clearly increasing: A year ago, only 9% of Europeans cited the year 2009 (EB 68). Today this figure is 26%. However, due to the crisis, the interest of voting in the European elections is declining slightly (44% are "interested" while this figure was only 46% in the previous Eurobarometer), as well as the probability of voting.
  • Ties which unite Europeans
    During the crisis, the Euro is the most important element of European identity at 40%*. The principal element which strengthens the sense of European citizenship is "a European social welfare system harmonized between the States" with 39%*. The results of this second survey on the European Parliament confirm that the general perception of the parliament by Europeans is positive: although still unknown, the institution is perceived as democratic and it is appreciated for its unifying role.
    *NB: the total percentage of the answers is not equal to 100% as respondents could give more than one answer.
The EP and the expectations of European citizens

The European Parliament regularly commissions surveys on public opinion in the Member States.

This is a means of keeping Parliament in touch with people's perceptions and expectations of its work and that of the European Union generally. The surveys are also extremely useful at the preparation, decision-making and evaluation stages of parliamentary business.

Readers will find them a source of information not only about attitudes in the EU to climate change or the current economic situation but also about how people see - and what they expect from - European elections, the European Parliament and European integration in general.