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Brits are increasingly interested in the EU affairs, new Eurobarometer poll shows


Interest in EU policies increased recently according to the new Eurobarometer commissioned by the European Parliament and published on Monday 30th November.

The survey, of 28,150 Europeans aged over 15, took place between 19 and 29 September, a period when refugee arrivals at EU borders and tragic migrant deaths were being widely reported in the media.

The number of British citizens who feel attached to the EU and believe their country's voice is taken into consideration in the EU is reflective of the sentiment across the rest of the Union with 46% of Brits feeling attachment to the EU and 60% feeling that UK's voice counts in the Union.

How is EU membership positive for your country?

An EU average of 55% of respondents said that his or her country has a positive impact from the EU membership. In comparison 47% of Brits shared that sentiment and a fifth of respondents believe the EU membership is "bad thing" for the UK.

Europeans were also asked to assess whether their country would do better or worse in a range of policy areas if their country were outside the EU. As in 2014, most respondents felt that their country would not do better without the EU in all the fields considered. However, in the areas of agriculture and immigration, results varied hugely.

The UK citizens would like to see the European Union giving priority to policies tackling poverty and social exclusion (44%). Immigration and combating terrorism follows and formulation of an immigration policy in consultation with countries of origin were also ranked high with 41% respondents wanting to give these policies priority.

European Parliament's perception

62% of British respondents recall hearing or reading about the European Parliament recently. However only 39% of respondents consider themselves "very well" informed about the Parliament's work. For most respondents in the UK, the European Parliament conjures a neutral image, but almost half admitted to distrusting the institution.

The Brits would like to see the European Parliament role in strengthening the values of human rights (54%), freedom of speech (46%) and gender equality (36%).

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