Maltese feel less empowered at home compared to other Europeans

Across Europe almost 58% of people feel that their voice counts in their country. In Malta, this falls slightly below average at 53%

Maltese people are less likely to feel that their voice counts in their home country, according to a new Euorpean Parliamen barometer survey published on Tuesday.

The barometer survey covers 505 face-to-face and online interviews carried out in November last year.

Overall, Maltese people appear to view the European Parliament in a positive light, although this decreased slightly compared to the same period a year prior.

Compared to people living in other European Member States, Maltese people want to see the European Parliament play a more important role in EU politics.

While only 58% of EU citizens want to see this, an overwhelming 71% of Maltese respondents said they want to see a more active European Parliament.

A voice in the EU

Despite sharing a positive view on the European Parliament, the majority of respondents said they don’t feel that their voice counts in the EU. This is only slightly below the European average, where 52% of respondents felt that their voice doesn’t count in EU institutions.

At a local level, Maltese people are less likely to feel that their voice counts in their country compared to the EU average. 53% of the Maltese interviews agreed that their voice counts in Malta, while 58% of people across the 27 Member States reported the same.

While this is only a snapshot, the survey indicates that the total number of people who felt that their voice doesn’t count in Malta grew by eight percentage points compared to the same period last year.

Despite this, many Maltese still see EU membership as a good thing for their country. An overwhelming 89% of respondents said that Malta benefited from being a member of the EU, largely citing economic growth and work opportunities as the main benefits.

Yet 35% felt that Maltese people have very little influence on decisions made at EU level, while 23% felt that EU membership undermines Malta’s control over its external borders.

The survey period predates Roberta Metsola’s election as EP president, an event which might impact Maltese perceptions on their influence at EU level.

European afficiandos

Maltese people feel that they have a sound level of knowledge on the work of the European Parliament.
Only 24% of respondents felt they know little about the European Parliament, while 65% said they have a medium level of knowledge on the ins and outs of European Parliament.

This was most highly felt among 15 to 24 year olds, which comprised 78% of those who reported medium knowledge on the topic.

On the other hand, 10% of respondents fancy themselves EP experts, with a high level of knowledge on the European Parliament.

But what do people want the European Parliament to work on? Across the EU, people want the European Parliament to defend democratic values like freedom of speech and the protection of human rights.

Maltese people demand similar values from the European Parliament, but prioritise human rights and the fight against discrimination far more than their counterparts across the bloc.

On more tangible topics, Maltese people want the European Parliament to address climate change, public health, and migration above all else, although they prioritise consumer rights far more than other European respondents.

Ewropej Funded by the European Union

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The action was co-financed by the European Union in the frame of the European Parliament's grant programme in the field of communication. The European Parliament was not involved in its preparation and is, in no case, responsible for or bound by the information or opinions expressed in the context of this action. In accordance with applicable law, the authors, interviewed people, publishers or programme broadcasters are solely responsible. The European Parliament can also not be held liable for direct or indirect damage that may result from the implementation of the action.

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