Brussels, 25 July 2014
Spring 2014 Standard Eurobarometer: The European elections made a difference
Today, the latest Standard Eurobarometer survey results are published - the first EU-wide opinion poll conducted since the European Parliament elections in May which were organised under the slogan "This time it's different". The latest Eurobarometer survey shows that this time it was different with positive developments in several areas.
1. A 10 year record high in the number of citizens who feel their voice counts
After the European Elections, the number of citizens who feel their voice counts in the EU has risen from 29% in November 2013 to 42%. This is the highest level since this question was first put into the Standard Eurobarometer a decade ago (see Annexes 1 and 2). In addition, 65% of Europeans feel like an EU citizen, up from 59% in the last Autumn Eurobarometer.
Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, responsible for inter-institutional relations and administration said: "We have been through challenging times but Europe is now turning the corner. Joint efforts at European level to set Europe on the path of economic recovery are starting to pay off. Not only are the economic indicators improving but so too is the attitude of citizens towards the economic situation. And, of course, the many debates around the European Elections - not least the Citizens' Dialogues and the 'Spitzenkandidaten' process - have brought Europe closer to its citizens."
2. Growing Optimism about the Economic Situation and the Future of the EU
For the first time since the beginning of the financial crisis seven years ago, more Europeans think the economic situation will improve in the next 12 months. (see Annex 3) and almost three out of four four people do not expect a negative trend. And for the first time in years, the percentage of Europeans who believe that the impact of the crisis on the job market has reached its peak is larger than that of those who think that the worst is still to come (see Annex 4).
Support for the Euro is on the rise. And whilst Lithuania is getting ready to adopt Europe's single currency, we see a 10 percentage point increase (since last autumn) in the number of Lithuanians who say they are in favour of the euro (see Annex 5). We also see similar trends across Europe: + 10 percentage ppoints in Latvia and Cyprus; + 5 ppercentage points in Portugal and Greece.
Finally, people are more optimistic about the future of the EU. Since last November, there has been a rise of five percentage points in those saying they are optimistic while the number of those saying they are pessimistic has fallen by five percentage points (see Annex 6). More than half of the people now have an optimistic outlook whilst only two out of five do not entirely share this sentiment.
The Spring 2014 Standard Eurobarometer was conducted through face-to-face interviews between 31 May and 14 June 2014. A total of 32,689 people were interviewed across the EU Member States and in the candidate countries.
The First results report published today outlines EU citizens' perception of the current economic situation, their main concerns and trust in political institutions.
The First results report is available at:
1. "My voice county in the EU" – A 10 year high
2. "My voice county in the EU" – National Results
3. Economy: Expectations for the year to come are becoming more positive
4. The jobs crisis: Europe is turning the corner
5. Support for the Euro is growing – changes since November 2013
6. Growing Optimism about the Future of the EU