Brexit effect: 65% of Maltese say they would vote to stay in the EU

New public opinion survey shows that EU is ‘more appreciated than ever’ 

A deal the Maltese are still happy about... Eddie Fenech Adami taking Malta into the EU in 2003 signing the EU accession treaty in 2004
A deal the Maltese are still happy about... Eddie Fenech Adami taking Malta into the EU in 2003 signing the EU accession treaty in 2004

The latest EU public opinion survey conducted in September 2018, has revealed a clear and growing appreciation for EU membership, reaching a record high of 68%. 

Additionally, 65% of Maltese respondents said they would vote to stay within the EU if a Brexit-style referendum was held. 

The latest Eurobarometer found more people than ever consider their country’s membership of the European Union to be a good thing (62%): the highest figure recorded in the last 25 years. 

Maltese people alone are 69% positive.  

Malta was also second only to Ireland with 91% believing the country has benefitted. The EU average was 68% who felt their country had benefitted from EU membership – again the highest figure since 1983.  

READ MORE • MaltaToday Survey | Young people most trustful of EU, but least knowledgeable

Nearly all results measuring support for the EU now show a significant upturn following the UK referendum in 2016, suggesting growing concern across the continent at the impact that Brexit will have and a growing awareness, due to the difficult negotiations, of the benefits of being a ,ember of the EU. 

66% of European respondents would vote for their country to remain a member of the EU (a majority in all member states) and only 17% would contemplate leaving, with 17% undecided. 65% of Maltese people would vote to stay in the EU. 

The latest Eurobarometer also show a growing sense of satisfaction amongst Europeans in the democratic functioning of the EU (49%). The majority of Maltese 51%, feel that their voice counts in the EU, up two points since April.  

AParlemeter 2018 survey though is not all good news: half of respondents are not happy with the direction the EU is heading in, and while a majority of Maltese people is still satisfied with the way democracy works in the EU, but this percentage is down 8 points. 

Public opinion also seems quite stable in terms of expectations about the role of the EU in the future with 48% wanting the EU to play a more important role as opposed to 27% preferring less. 40% of Maltese have a positive image of the European Parliament. 

There is growing awareness of next year’s European elections, with 41% correctly identifying the date in May 2019 - a nine-point increase over a similar survey six months ago and seven points more than in June 2013. However 44% still could not say today when the elections will be taking place compared to 46% in June 2013. Maltese people show a higher than average awareness with 58% already knowing when the next elections will be held.  

With 51% of citizens declaring to be interested in the elections, citizens’ campaign priorities have evolved over the past six-month period. Immigration now tops the agenda (50%) followed by economy (47%) and youth unemployment (47%), whilst combatting terrorism moves down to fourth place with 44%. The top priority for Maltese people for the next European elections remains immigration. 76% have said this is their main concern, up 11 points from April.

More in Europe