EU citizens want Parliament to defend democracy: a third of respondents (32%) sees this as most important value to defend, followed by freedom of speech and thought (27%) and the protection of human rights (25%)
Public Health (42%), poverty and social exclusion (40%) as well as climate change (39%) are top political priorities
58% of EU citizens want a more important role for the Parliament in the future
Citizens’ support for the EU and the EP in particular
has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, says a new Eurobarometer
survey published on Tuesday.
near third of respondents (32%) chose democracy as top European value to
defend, followed by freedom of speech and thought (27%) and the
protection of human rights in the EU and worldwide (25%), according to
the new Eurobarometer survey commissioned by the European Parliament.
Rising extremism, spread of disinformation, and weakening of the rule of law cause concern for the European citizens.
This mirrors results from the latest Future of Europe survey,
published by the European Parliament and Commission in mid January
2022, where nine in ten Europeans agree that there is still work to be
done to strengthen democracy in the EU.
Eleven Member States put the defence of
democracy first: Sweden, Germany, Finland, Italy, Denmark, Austria,
Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Czechia and Hungary. Respondents in Czechia
and Hungary also put the protection of human rights in shared first
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola,
welcoming the results of the survey, said: “As the citizens rightly
point out, defending democracy is the most important European value
above anything else. We cannot take democracy for granted; extremism,
authoritarianism and nationalism are today rising threats for our common
Overall, European citizens see Public
Health with 42% as continued top policy priority for the Parliament,
followed closely by the fight against poverty and social exclusion (40%)
and action against climate change (39%). On EU average, young people
put the fight against climate change as their top priority for the
There is a sustained interest from
European citizens to learn more about the work of the EU. According to
the present survey, information about how EU funds are concretely spent
would be most interesting for 43% of respondents. Citizens also want to
learn more about the concrete consequences of European legislation in
their country (30%), the concrete activities of their national MEPs
(29%) as well as on what the EU is doing to overcome the COVID-19
“Citizens want and deserve more
information about the concrete impact of EU policies and decisions in
their daily life. People should know where the money is spent", said
The European Parliament has made clear
that the disbursement of the EU Recovery Funds should be based on clear
and approved plans, be subject to consistent control and transparency
and be dependent on the respect of our core democratic values.
Citizens’ support for the EU and the EP
in particular has largely increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. A
large majority of EU citizens (58%) support a more important role for
the European Parliament in the future, while the share of EU citizens
with a positive image of the European Parliament has grown by 12 points
since 2015 to 36%, including an uptick of 3 points since 2019. 45% of
respondents have a neutral view on the European Parliament and only 17%
have a negative image. This positive standing of the EP is also
reflected in the last European Commission Standard Eurobarometer 95.1, showing that citizens trust the European Parliament most among all EU institutions.
A majority of EU citizens (62%) see
their country’s EU-membership as a good thing, with only 9% saying
otherwise, for the second year returning the highest result since 2007.
Nearly three quarters of respondents (72%) say that their country has
benefitted from EU membership. In this line, a majority of respondents
(63%) says they are optimistic about the future of the EU.
The European Parliament’s Autumn 2021
Eurobarometer was carried out between 1 November and 2 December 2021 in
all 27 EU Member States. The survey was conducted face-to-face and
completed with online interviews where necessary as a result of
COVID-19-related restrictions. 26,510 interviews were conducted in
total, with EU results weighted according to the size of the population
in each country.
© European Commission
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