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EU support stable, but outlook bleak, finds Eurobarometer poll

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18/11/2016
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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moonUN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

What brings EU citizens together is more important than what separates them, say 71% of Europeans, while 53% believe that being an EU member is good for their country, according to Eurobarometer’s latest “Parlemeter” poll, commissioned by the European Parliament and published on Friday.

A majority of Europeans interviewed in the poll believe that being a member of the European Union is a good thing for their country (53%, -2 compared to 2015). In the case of the United Kingdom, the share of respondents who believe EU membership is a good thing has been increasing gradually over the last five years, reaching 47% in 2016.

As in 2015, 60% of respondents overall said their country benefits from being part of the Union. While this percentage has remained stable across the EU, Brits have shown an increase in the numbers, with 56% of Britons now saying the UK has benefited from membership.

More engagement needed?

Europeans feel that their voices count less and less, in particular at national level. Only 53% of respondents said that their voice is heard in their own country (-10 compared to 2015).

People do not have a positive view of the future, both in the EU, where 54% of respondents said “things are going in the wrong direction” (+13 compared to 2015), and in their own country (58%, +14 compared to 2015).

The European Parliament in the media

The European Parliament evokes a neutral image for 44% of Europeans (-2 compared to 2015), while 46% want it to play a more significant role (+2 compared to 2015). While 60% of respondents said they have heard about the European Parliament in the media, only 32% consider that they are informed about its activities. Britons emerge as much better informed in comparison to other EU nationals - 69% recall hearing about the European Parliament recently and 45% feel informed about its activities.

About the Parlemeter

The Parlemeter is a survey that the European Parliament regularly commissions on public opinion in the 28 Member States. These surveys cover a wide range of issues, focusing primarily on European citizens' knowledge of the European Parliament, their perceptions of the EU and its main challenges, their expectations in view of the European elections, the European Parliament and European integration in general. The analysis of the results is meant to ensure the most complete overview of national evolutions, regional specificities, as well as socio-demographic differences and historical trends.

The most recent survey, conducted face-to-face in the 28 Member States among 27,768 Europeans aged over 15, took place between 24 September and 3 October 2016, a week after the speech of the State of the Union delivered at the European Parliament. It looks at a number of issues including public perception of the EU institutions and specific policies.

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Further information:

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Full Eurobarometer survey