March sees 22% more visitors to Malta over last year
84% of Maltese say EU membership is beneficial
Eurobarometer’s latest “Parlemeter” poll finds that 88% of Maltese believe that what brings EU citizens together is more important than what separates them
22 November 2016, 6:33pm
This comes out of Eurobarometer’s latest “Parlemeter” poll, commissioned by the European Parliament in which the Maltese appear to buck the trend of growing anti-EU sentiments across the continent.
The poll found that 71% of Europeans – and 88% of Maltese – believe that what brings EU citizens together is more important than what separates them, while 53% believe that being an EU member is good for their country.
The share of respondents who believe EU membership is a good thing for their country varies widely, from 74% in Ireland to only 31% in Greece.
The poll also shows that this EU support indicator has remained roughly stable since 2009, when it was also 53%.
As in 2015, 60% of respondents overall said their country benefits from being part of the Union.
This percentage has also remained stable in “Parlemeter” surveys, from 56% in 2009, down to 52% in 2011 and up again up to 60% in the past two years.
In addition, according to 71% of respondents, there are more issues uniting Europeans than dividing them.
Elements of European identity
Among the elements of European identity, democracy and freedom remain key values for 50% of those interviewed, while the Euro declined significantly to 33% (down 6 points from 2015), particularly in the Eurozone.
Nearly one in two Europeans feels that a harmonised social welfare system would reinforce their sense of being a European citizen (46%).
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 with 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 with 2015), and in their own country (58%, +14 compared with 2015).
The European Parliament in the media
The European Parliament has 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).
The figures are more positive in Malta with 35% having a positive image of the European Parliament and 50% a neutral one.
A significant 69% of the Maltese would like to see the European Parliament play a more important role. 60% of respondents said they had heard about the European Parliament in the media (68% in Malta) and only 32% considered themselves informed about its activities (43% in Malta).
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