Defending the value of democracy should be the European Parliament`s top priority, says the EP Autumn 2021 Eurobarometer, published Tuesday. In Cyprus an 89% of the citizens said that they would like to see the EP play a more important role.
A third of respondents in the EU (32%) sees democracy as most important value to defend, followed by freedom of speech and thought (27%) and the protection of human rights (25%). In terms of policy priorities, citizens put public health first with 42%, followed by poverty and social exclusion (40%) as well as climate change (39%).
The survey also shows the continued strong public support for the European Parliament, with 58% backing a more important role for Parliament in the future. The survey was carried out by Kantar Public between 1 November and 2 December 2021 in all 27 EU Member States. A total of 26.510 citizens over 15 participated. In Cyprus 504 citizens took part via personal interviews.
In Cyprus 33% of those asked have a positive image of the EP, while 53% a neutral and 12% a negative image. A percentage of 37% of Cypriots said that protection of human rights in the EU and globally are values the EU should fight for and 31% chose democracy and rule of law.
The fight against climate change (39%) retains its position among the absolute top priorities for European citizens. Public health leads with 42%, followed by the fight against poverty and social exclusion (40%), while climate change is the most important issue for younger respondents.
The more citizens know about the workings of the EU and its institutions, the more they feel empowered to support the European Parliament as the heart of European Union democracy.
A 61% of Cypriots said that public health should be a top priority in the EU, 50% answered fight of poverty and social exclusion and 46% support of economy and creation of new jobs.
In Cyprus 52% of the people asked said that the country`s membership is a good thing, 38% said neutral and 71% said that Cyprus has benefited from being a member.
Moreover the majority of the people asked in Cyprus said that they would like to know how the EU funds are allocated (63%) and to learn about their rights as EU citizens (58%).
Survey shows that young citizens are optimistic about the future of Europe – and together with climate change they see it as top priority for the EP. Young people are also more satisfied with democracy in the EU.
Citizens’ positive attitudes towards the European Union have been strengthened during the Covid-19 pandemic. Eurobarometer data shows a stable appreciation of the EU by its citizens, with several indicators showing a significant positive development over the course of the pandemic.
European citizens agree to a very large degree that their country has benefitted from being a member of the EU (72%). Asked for the reasons why their country has benefitted, most respondents cite the improved cooperation between their country and other countries of the EU (32%), followed by the EU’s contribution to their country’s economic growth and the EU contributing to maintaining peace and strengthening security (both 30%).
Europeans largely follow European politics, but they want to know more: 58% of Europeans say they follow what is going on in EU politics, however, they would like to know more.