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EuropeGeopolitical situation makes voting in European elections even more important

Geopolitical situation makes voting in European elections even more important

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Today’s pre-electoral publication reveals a positive, upward trend on key election indicators with just a few weeks to go until EU citizens cast their ballots 6-9 June. Interest in the election, awareness of when it will take place as well as likelihood to vote are all on the rise since the last survey in autumn 2023, when they were last measured. Increases are even more striking in comparison to the Spring 2019 survey (three months prior to the previous European elections).

60% now say they are interested in voting in June (+3 pp compared to autumn 2023 and +11 pp compared to February/March 2019). 71% say that it is likely that they will vote (7 to 10 on a scale from 1-10), representing +3 pp in comparison to autumn 2023 and +10 pp compared to February/March 2019. Findings suggest that EU citizens are very much aware of the importance of the elections in the current geopolitical context, with eight in ten (81%) respondents agreeing that it makes voting even more important. Large majorities in all Member States endorse this statement.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, commenting on the results of the survey, says: “Europeans are aware that the stakes are high at the ballot box, and that voting is even more important in the current geopolitical context. I call on our citizens to cast their vote in the upcoming European elections, to reinforce European democracy and to shape the future of Europe.” 

As this legislature concludes, 81% of EU citizens hold a positive or neutral image of the European Parliament, while only 18% are negative. What is more, a majority in the EU (56%) would like the EP to play a more important role, while only 28% would like to see the opposite and 10% would keep the role as it is now.

President Metsola adds: “The Parliament and the European Union have delivered in an unprecedented way in the past years. We have been confronted with exceptional and challenging circumstances yet we have come out even stronger and more united as a result. Parliament has been and will continue to be the citizens’ voice and advocate in the EU.” 

European citizens would like to see the fight against poverty and social exclusion (33%) as well as supporting public health (32%) as the main issues under discussion during the electoral campaign. Support to the economy and the creation of new jobs, as well as EU defence and security are both in third place (on 31%). The importance citizens attach to EU defence and security has increased over the course of the parliamentary term, particularly in light of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. It is now mentioned as a first (or joint first) electoral campaign priority in nine countries, with highest results in Denmark (56%), Finland (55%) and Lithuania (53%).

Likewise, looking to the future, EU citizens put defence and security (37%) as first priorities in reinforcing the EU’s position globally, energy issues and food security/agriculture follow (both on 30%). While four in ten citizens say the role of the EU has become more important over the past years, 35% think it has stayed the same and 22% that it has diminished. At the national level, relative majorities in 15 countries believe that its role in the world has become more important over the years, with proportions reaching 67% in Sweden, 63% in Portugal and 60% in Denmark. Meanwhile, Slovenian and Czech citizens are the most likely to say that the EU’s role has become less important (32% and 30%, respectively).

Almost three quarters of citizens (73%, +3 pp in comparison to autumn 2023) say that EU actions have an impact on their daily lives, including a fifth (20%) for whom they ‘very much’ have an impact. In addition, a large majority of Europeans agree that their country, on balance, benefits from EU membership (71%). These results are stable in comparison to autumn 2023 and continue enjoying high levels across the EU.

Full results can be found here.

Background   

The European Parliament’s Spring 2024 Eurobarometer was carried out by Verian (previously Kantar) research agency between 7 February and 3 March 2024 in all 27 EU Member States. The survey was conducted face-to-face, with video interviews (CAVI) used additionally in Czechia, Denmark, Finland and Malta. 26,411 interviews were conducted in total. EU results were weighted according to the size of the population in each country.

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