Maltese rate price stability higher than EU values in Ukraine war survey

Roberta Metsola’s soft power boosts Maltese positive perception of European Parliament

Well over 71% of Maltese say they were not ready for increases in food and energy prices from the war on Ukraine, as opposed to the EU average of 40%
Well over 71% of Maltese say they were not ready for increases in food and energy prices from the war on Ukraine, as opposed to the EU average of 40%

Russia’s war against Ukraine has strengthened public support for the EU, the Spring 2022 Eurobarometer by the European Parliament found.

But the Maltese (55%) are amongst the highest category – fourth highest after Cyprus, Portugal and Bulgaria – to say they felt the consequences of the war in Ukraine and that it had reduced their standard of living, much higher than the 40% European average.

Well over 71% of Maltese say they were not ready for increases in food and energy prices from the war on Ukraine, as opposed to the EU average of 40%.

And the Maltese (63%) preferred maintaining price stability “even if it affects the defence of our common European values” (EU 39%); but were less likely to favour defending freedom and democracy (32%) if it impacted cost of living (EU 59%).

In this, the Maltese were again the third highest in prioritising price stability, after Hungary and Bulgaria.

Interestingly, the Maltese prioritised climate change (41%), public health (35%) and the fight against poverty and social exclusion (32%), as subjects to be addressed by MEPs.

 

Roberta Metsola
Roberta Metsola

High boost in EP image for Malta

Malta’s positive image of the European Parliament has catapulted from 39% to 62%, a 23-point increase, over a previous Eurobarometer conducted in November 2021.

This is the highest rating since September 2007, whereby the highest rating registered was that of 53% – 9 percentage points less than the latest score.

The survey comes just four months since the election of Maltese centre-right MEP Roberta Metsola as president of the European Parliament.

In 11 countries respondents are now more likely to have a positive image of the European Parliament than in November-December 2021, with the largest increases seen in Malta (62%, +23 percentage points) and Portugal (57%, +10 pp). The proportion with a positive image has declined in three countries including the Netherlands (35%, -7 pp) and Sweden (41%, -7 pp), and has remained stable in the remaining 13 countries.

As a result of these changes the positive view is now the majority opinion in Denmark, Germany, Italy, Malta, but is now the minority view in Sweden and the Netherlands (in both cases neutral is now the majority opinion).

Three-quarters of the Maltese population believes that Malta’s membership of the European Union is a good thing – a 12-point jump in just six months.

Four in every five Maltese participants acknowledge the importance of Malta’s EU membership: a 16-point increase since November.

And two-thirds of the Maltese citizens now believe that their voice counts in the European Union – a total shift since November, as less than half of the respondents agreed with this statement.

 

War in Ukraine

Almost two thirds (65%) of Europeans see EU membership as a good thing. This is the highest result since 2007, when it was at 58%. 52% of Europeans today have a positive image of the EU, against 12% negative.

Most citizens perceive the war in Ukraine as fundamental change: 61% of Europeans are not confident that their life will continue unchanged. However, 59% of Europeans see the defence of common European values such as freedom and democracy as a priority – even if that were to affect prices and the cost of living.

The increasing economic worries are also reflected in the political priorities citizens want the European Parliament to focus on: the fight against poverty and social exclusion is mentioned first (38%).

The perception of the war and what it means for the European Union becomes also visible in the citizens’ core values they want the European Parliament to defend as a matter of priority: Democracy again tops the list, with an increase of six points compared to autumn 2021 (38%, +6pp).

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 European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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