A clear majority of European Union citizens believe that their country has benefitted from EU membership. According to the European Parliament’s latest Parlemeter poll, 64%, an increase of four percentage points compared to 2016, said EU membership has been positive.
The majority 57% also said EU membership is a good thing, and 47% feel that their voice counts in the EU, the best result since the 2009 European elections.
The 2017 Parlemeter survey, which interviewed 27,881 citizens in the 28 member states, confirmed the citizens’ increasingly favourable view of the EU, continuing a trend visible in surveys since 2016.
“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,” said European Parliament President Antonio Tajani. “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.”
The findings of the survey show that 42% of EU citizens have a neutral image of the European Parliament, while 33% have a positive image. The share who have a negative image is 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.
Other survey findings show that 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 also expect the European Parliament, in particular, to defend human rights (56%), free speech (34%) and equality between men and women (32%).