Only 8% claimed to be ‘very interested’ by the elections, 36% ‘somewhat interested’, and 22% ‘not at all interested’. As further proof of this disinterest, the date of the elections was only known by 26% of those asked. The inhabitants of Luxembourg and Malta proved to be the best educated, with 56 and 55% respectively having learnt their European calendar. The French trailed far behind, with only 19% remembering the date of the 7th June 2009, as did only a mere 9% of the Finns asked.
We have great confidence in the Parliament, but…
In fact, only 28% of the poll’s participants were ‘absolutely certain they will vote’. Inversely, only 15% declared that they were ‘absolutely certain they will not vote’. The Belgians once again showed themselves to be the most Europhiles, with 55% planning to keep their Sunday 7th June free for the ballot box. Such is the case for less than half of the French (44%) and only 8% of the Portuguese. These rather disappointing results might seem paradoxical given that the European Parliament is the institution in which Europeans have the most faith, even if 45% of them find they are ‘fairly uninformed’ about its activities.
The reinforcement of legislative power
34% of Europeans have a positive image of legislative power, and 44% wish for it to play a larger role in the European Union’s everyday life, especially in projects aimed at reinforcing European citizenship. 39% of those asked would like to see a united social welfare system; 24% would look favourably on a European civil service (which would, for example, intervene in cases of European or international natural disasters); and 20% support the appointment of an EU President, as directly elected by its citizens. In wanting to reinforce this institution 73% of European participants in the poll emphasised the indispensable role of the Union with regard to international issues such as climate change or terrorism. To end on a positive note, the vast majority of Europeans, 72% to be precise, feel that what unites them to the Union is stronger than what divides them from it.
Picture : Colt Bender/FlickR
Translated by Christina G. Connolly