EU elections: Support for EU and the lead candidates process continues to rise
A new flash survey of EU citizens has underscored the increasing support for the European Union and growing awareness of next year’s elections.
- 68% of citizens see EU membership as a good thing
- 47% of respondents have already heard about the European elections in May 2019
- 77% of citizens want a real debate about the future of the EU between the lead candidates for the next European elections
68% of European citizens believe their country’s EU membership to be a good thing, a fresh
Eurobarometer survey commissioned by the European Parliament reveals. The first results of the telephone survey conducted with 26,071 respondents in the EU-27 show a continuous increase in support for the European Union. While 60% of respondents interviewed in the April 2018 Eurobarometer survey found EU membership to be a good thing, this result rose to 62% in September 2018 and again to 68% in the Flash Eurobarometer survey released today. The current legislature of the European Parliament has thus witnessed almost continuously increasing support for the European Union, including encouraging positive developments in many member states.
As the 2019 European elections are getting closer, 47% of respondents recall having heard recently about the European elections in the media. Conversely, 52% of respondents cannot recall having heard anything about the European elections in the news lately.
Parliament’s Flash Eurobarometer also explores citizens’ views on the renewed lead candidates’ process for the European elections. Being able to take part in the process of electing the next President of the European Commission for the second time is clearly perceived as an encouraging factor by citizens. 57% of respondents overall say this would make them more likely to vote, including 24% who say it would “definitely” make them more likely to vote than at present. On the contrary, 36% of respondents would not find themselves more likely to vote.
Asked about their attitudes towards the lead candidates’ process, the present Flash Eurobarometer shows that those surveyed are continuously positive. Compared with results from April 2018, 67% of respondents say that this process both represents significant progress for democracy within the EU (61% in April 2018) and makes the process of electing the President of the European Commission more transparent (63%). Yet the most important result is that EU citizens reiterate their strong call for a ‘real debate about European issues and the future of the EU’, in order for the lead candidate process to make any real sense, an increase of 7 percentage points compared to April 2018.
The Flash Eurobarometer further dedicated a section to media recall questions, showing that six out of ten of those interviewed Europeans (60%) recall having recently read in the press, seen on the internet or on television or heard on the radio about the European Parliament’s activities. This result is the highest in Poland, with 75% of respondents recalling that they have heard recently about the European Parliament in the news, followed by Finland and Sweden (both 73%), Germany (72%) as well as Hungary and Austrian, both with 70%. Asked about the concrete topics they could recall, immigration comes top with 77%, cited first in 20 member states, followed by climate change (70%), and the issue of economy and growth (63%).
Note to the editors:
- The Flash Eurobarometer was conducted by Kantar Public for the European Parliament with 26,071 telephone interviews in the EU-27 countries among citizens aged 15 or more. The fieldwork was conducted between 26 November and 3 December 2018. A graphical presentation of the first results presented in this press release can be found here. Full data tables and country-specific factsheets will be published later this week.