Eurobarometer shows 59% in favour of their country’s EU Membership
The European Parliament’s autumn Eurobarometer survey, the Parlemeter 2019, shows strong support for membership of the European Union.
The survey, published on Tuesday, shows nearly six in ten, or 59% of Europeans continue to be in favour of their country’s EU membership.
Support for EU membership has grown almost continuously from 2011 to 2018 and has now remained consistent for the third year in a row.
Membership support levels vary between member states. Ireland and Luxembourg show the highest levels of support at 81%, while lowest levels are found in the UK at 42%.
A clear rise in support for membership has been seen in a number of countries since June of this year. France has seen an increase of 6 percentage points to 58%, Greece, a 5-point rise to 47% and Latvia, a 4- point increase to 59%.
Decreases in support have also been seen. In Lithuania support for EU membership has decreased by 8 percentage points, in the United Kingdom by 7 points and in both Poland and Cyprus by 5 points.
With the UK’s Brexit General Election just two days away, the United Kingdom is the only country showing a massive increase in undecided opinions as to EU Membership: 31% of British respondents (an increase of 11 points compared to June 2019) see EU membership as neither good nor bad for the UK.
The Eurobarometer traditionally asks citizens which political issues, among a range of topics, the Parliament should prioritise.
With regard to European values, a majority of citizens see protecting human rights worldwide (48%), freedom of speech (38%), gender equality (38%) and solidarity between EU member states (33%) as the main fundamental values to preserve in the EU.
Priority issues vary significantly across members states, but climate change features as one of the top priority issues for EU citizens for the first time.
A statement from the European Parliament in relation to the survey said, ‘Nearly every third respondent (32%) wants Parliament to address combating climate change as its biggest priority. The fight against poverty and social exclusion (31%), combating terrorism (24%) as well as tackling unemployment (24%) follow in the average EU ranking of citizens’ priorities.’
According to the survey, Europeans would like to see Parliament playing a stronger role, with 58% of respondents calling for a more influential Parliament in the future. This is an increase of 7 percentage points since spring 2019 and the highest result for this indicator since 2007.
The Eurobarometer also provides insight into which EU-related information citizens would be interested in – and how they might be more engaged with policy making. The Autumn survey shows 77% would like to receive more information on the activities of the European institutions.
According to those surveyed, topics of most relevance to them are the concrete consequences of EU legislation at local, regional and national level, as well as the activities of the European Parliament and its Members.
(Image: European External Action Service via creativecommons.org)