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09/09/2013

ONE YEAR TO GO TO THE 2014 EUROPEAN ELECTIONS

The majority (55%) of Europeans would turn out to vote in the European elections in May 2014 if the political families in the running named candidates for the future president of the European Commission, states a new Eurobarometer survey published by the European Parliament on Friday 6 September. And 70% of those surveyed would be favourable to direct election of the Commission president.

Among the findings of the survey, the European Parliament notes that the number of Europeans describing their feeling of belonging as both “national and European” is up by 6 points (49% of the respondents) since the last survey in June 2012. Unsurprisingly, however, large disparities exist between countries. On the “only national” feeling of identity, the results in the UK stand at 60% as opposed to 33% for “national and European”. The “only national” feeling is also very evident in Ireland with 53% versus 31%, and in Cyprus with 51% versus 38%. Conversely, in Malta, 66% of those surveyed say they feel “national and European” and 26% “only national”. Significant differences remain between the eurozone and non-eurozone, with the countries of the eurozone having more “national and European” respondents - 54% of respondents as opposed to 42% for the non-eurozone members.

 

Another finding of this survey is that those who consider that their compatriots feel less European than 10 years ago are especially the Greeks (50%), the British (47%), the French (40%) and the Cypriots (35%). Respondents from the non-eurozone are more numerous (49%) than those from the eurozone (41%) in thinking that their compatriots are more European than before.

 

Lastly, as in previous surveys, there are still 50% who think that belonging to the EU is a good thing. Among the “good things”, free movement comes top, with 56% of respondents, followed by peace (53% of responses). Belonging to the euro comes in third position with 24% of those surveyed. Ultimately, the results of the survey show a limited interest for European affairs today. Indeed, “an absolute majority of people surveyed say that they are not interested by questions of European policy, while a little over four respondents in ten say that they are”, the study says. Nevertheless, by 2025, a clear majority considers that citizens will be more involved than today in European affairs. The survey was carried out among 27,624 citizens in the 28 countries of the EU in June 2013.

 

EP Eurobarometer - Analytical overview

EP Eurobarometer - Socio-demographic annex

European Parliament

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