Public confidence in the EU and its Parliament continues to grow EU wide
- Parlemeter opinion poll of citizens’ views on European Union and European Parliament
- 64% say their country has benefitted from EU membership
- EU membership a good thing say 57%
The share of all EU citizens who believe that their country has benefitted from EU membership is 64%, an increase of four percentage points compared to 2016.
A clear majority of EU citizens now believe that EU membership is good for their country, suggests the European Parliament’s latest Parlemeter poll. At 57%, this share is almost back at its pre-crisis level. And 47% feel that their voice counts in the EU, the best result since the 2009 European elections. . The 2017 Parlemeter pollsters interviewed 27,881 citizens in the 28 member states.
The Parlemeter 2017 survey takes a close look at citizens’ views on EU membership and its benefits, whether their voice counts in the EU and on their attitudes towards the European Parliament, its priorities, actions and mission. The survey confirms the citizens’ increasingly favourable view of the EU, continuing a trend visible in surveys since 2016.
EP President Antonio Tajani said: “The result of the survey is very positive and encouraging. It shows that the confidence in our institutions and our work continues to grow and that we are leaving the crisis of recent years behind. Naturally, in some areas, views vary from member state to member state. This should inspire us to step up our efforts to tackle the concerns expressed. In general, people increasingly see the EU as a key player in tackling the big challenges and protecting them against common threats such as terrorism, unemployment or poverty and exclusion. For us, as the people’s Parliament, that means we need to deliver and that we will work even harder to fulfil people’s hopes and expectations. I also take the results of the survey as a mandate for the European Parliament to increase its key role in shaping the EU’s future. The best forum for debate on what the EU should look like, what tasks it should perform, or what powers it should have, is here, in the European Parliament.”
Parliament finds favour
The share of citizens who have a neutral image of the European Parliament is 42%, while 33% have a positive image, up eight points within one year The share who have a negative image is down seven points, to 21%.
Over half the respondents (55%) stated being interested in the 2019 European elections, and 47% thought the European Parliament should play a bigger role in the future.
Protecting against threats
The previous survey held in March 2017 already showed that citizens are more and more aware that the EU is acting on their behalf in areas they see as priorities. Building on this growing acknowledgement of the EU’s action, interest in the EU remains high and at 57%, showing a steady increase over time.
European citizens also clearly expect the EU to help protect them against certain threats. When asked against which threats the EU should protect them, citizens cited terrorism (58%), unemployment (43%), poverty and exclusion (42%), and uncontrolled migration (35%).
Fewer than a quarter cited climate change (23%), religious radicalism (23%), organised crime (22%), armed conflict (21%), political extremism (20%), the spread of infectious diseases (10%), cyber-attacks, social dumping and threats to data privacy (9% each).
Citizens expect the EU to safeguard fundamental rights (44%), freedom to travel, work and study across the EU (36%), labour rights (34%), adequate pensions (34%) and economic well-being (33%). They expect the European Parliament in particular to defend human rights (56%), free speech (34%) and equality between men and women (32%).
Citizens expect the European Parliament to support action against poverty and exclusion (41%), terrorism (also 41%) and youth unemployment (31%).
The 2017 Parlemeter survey is based on face-to-face interviews with 27,881 Europeans, aged 15 or more, in all EU 28 member states, between 23 September and 2 October 2017.
Additional graphs of the Parlemeter results can be obtained upon request.