The vast majority of European citizens (92% in the EU, 96% in Cyprus and 97% in Greece) demand that “the voice of the people be taken more into account in decisions concerning the future of Europe”, according to the findings of the Common Eurobarometer. with the future of Europe, published today jointly by the Commission and the European Parliament and held between 22 October and 20 November 2020 in the 27 EU Member States.
According to Eurobarometer, three quarters of Europeans believe that the Conference on the Future of Europe will have a positive impact on democracy within the EU: 76% agree that it is a significant step forward for democracy within the EU (84% in Cyprus and 78% in Greece), as this view is clearly supported by a majority in each EU Member State.
According to the survey, respondents believe that active people from all walks of life should participate (51%), while 47% say that young people, as well as national governments (42%) and academics, should play an important role. , experts, intellectuals and scientists (40%).
Just over half of Europeans (51% in the EU, 44% in Cyprus and 47% in Greece) would like to participate themselves, while the Irish respondents were the most enthusiastic (81%), followed by the Belgians (64% ), Luxembourg (63%) and Slovenes (63%).
Although voting in European elections is clearly considered by 55% of respondents (32% in Cyprus and 58% in Greece) the most effective way to ensure that EU decision-makers listen to the voice of the people, it is strongly argued that citizens should have a greater say in decisions about the future of Europe.
Of the 92% who believe that the voice of EU citizens should be taken more into account, 55% “strongly agree” and 37% “probably agree”. Only 6% disagree with the statement.
Six out of ten Europeans agree that the coronavirus crisis has made them worry about the future of the European Union (19% “strongly agree” and 41% “probably agree”), while 39% disagree (23 % “Probably disagree” and 16% “completely disagree”).
In relation to the developments they want to see in the future of Europe: the existence of a comparable standard of living (35%) and stronger solidarity between Member States (30%) are the two most frequently mentioned developments. Europeans also prioritize the development of a common health policy (25%) and comparable educational standards (22%).
Europeans believe that the EU's respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law (32%), as well as its economic, industrial and commercial strength (30%), are its main strengths.
EU respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law is ranked as the most important (or commonly important) asset in 14 countries, and this view is particularly prevalent in Sweden, where 58% consider this to be a key asset.
The EU's economic, industrial and commercial power is ranked as the most important (or commonly important) asset in nine countries, led by Finland (45%) and Estonia (44%). This answer was 28% dominant in Greece as well.
In Cyprus, 29% favored solidarity and good cooperation between Member States.
Finally, climate change is clearly the main global challenge affecting the future of the EU, with 45% of Europeans choosing this challenge as the main one. The second and third most frequently mentioned issues, with similar rates, are terrorism (38%) and health risks (37%). Forced migration and displacement is the fourth most frequently mentioned challenge, mentioned by just over a quarter of Europeans (27%).
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