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Over half of Brits believe the UK has benefitted from EU membership

18/10/2017
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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.

> Parlemeter opinion poll of citizens’ views on European Union and European Parliament
> 55% Britons say their country has benefitted from EU membership
> 47% want EU to protect freedom to travel, work and study


In Britain 55% consider membership to have been of benefit to the country. Conversely the number of Britons who believe the UK has not benefitted from EU membership has dropped by 7 percentage points to 27%.

47% of EU citizens and 40% of Brits feel that their voice counts in the EU, the best result since the European elections 2009.

The Parlemeter 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’s image
The share of citizens who have a neutral image of the European Parliament is 42%, while 33% have a positive image, up eight points on the March figure. In the UK, 27% of respondents have a positive image of the European Parliament - a growth of 4 percentage point since March this year.

Protecting against threats
European citizens also clearly expect the EU to help protect them against certain threats. When asked which threats EU should focus on, both Britons and EU citizens cited terrorism (65% and 58% respectively) as a top priority. This was followed by poverty and exclusion (34% and 42%) and unemployment (29% and 43%). Interestingly less than a quarter of Britons listed uncontrolled migration as a top threat compared to 35% of all EU citizens.

Safeguarding rights
When it comes to EU’s objectives, Britons feel that the EU should protect the freedom to travel, work and study across the EU as a matter of priority (46%). This was closely followed by fundamental right and freedoms (43%), safety in terms of health standards (31%) and environment (28%). EU citizens expect the Union 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%).

Protecting against threats
European citizens also clearly expect the EU to help protect them against certain threats. When asked which threats EU should focus on, both Britons and EU citizens cited terrorism (65% and 58% respectively) as a top priority. This was followed by poverty and exclusion (34% and 42%) and unemployment (29% and 43%). Interestingly less than a quarter of Britons listed uncontrolled migration as a top threat compared to 35% of all EU citizens.

Quick facts 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.

panel discussion glasgow
panel discussion glasgow
 
 
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