Malta tops the list of positive attitudes towards Europe – Eurobarometer
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A new European Parliament Eurobarometer survey provides interesting insights into the views of the Maltese and Europeans following the MEP elections in May.
Results show that Malta tops a number of lists with positive attitudes towards the EU and its institutions.
Information and electoral campaigns preceding the vote seem to have been successful as 81% say they had the necessary information to choose their MEPs. Immigration was the main issue which influenced voters’ choice, followed by economic growth and energy.
Trust in EU institutions is at its highest in Malta with 69% saying they trust such institutions. This figure represents an increase of 4% on 2009 results with Malta and Luxembourg topping the list when compared to other Member States.
Up to 63% of the Maltese (+5% on 2009) think the European Parliament ‘takes into consideration the concerns of European citizens’.
The ‘Post-Election Survey – European Elections 2014’ reveals also that ten years after EU accession, 68% of the Maltese consider EU membership as a good thing and 76% feel ‘attached to Europe’ (up 12 percentage points on 2009).
The portion of respondents who state that they feel citizens of the EU reaches 84% (+17 on 2009), which is the highest figure from among all member states.
These positive results provided by Maltese respondents are not mirrored everywhere throughout the EU. On average, 51% of Europeans think EU membership is a good thing.
Turnout for the elections varied widely with the average rate being 42.54%, similar to 2009. The greatest abstainers in the elections were young people (aged from 18 to 24), and yet it is they who express the most positive feelings about the EU.
Issues of concern to Europeans
At European level, unemployment (45%, +8 on 2009) was considered to be the main issue on people’s minds. In Malta, this was the case for about a fifth of the voters (21%). Economic growth was the second most important issue for Europeans (40%).
Immigration (23%, +7) has grown considerably since 2009 even at European level. The importance of the issue increased in 19 Member States, with results which have doubled, for instance in the United Kingdom (42%, +21 points compared to 2009) and France (21%, +11). In Malta this figure shoots up to 43% of the electorate.