Cyprus Mail

Only a third say EU is ‘good’

Cypriots have more faith in EU than a year ago

Cypriots have more faith in EU than a year ago

By Constantinos Psillides

ONLY 34 per cent of Cypriots believe that being an EU member state is a good thing, according to the latest Eurobarometer released yesterday, but confidence in the Union seems to be growing, compared to earlier polls.

Thirty per cent of Cypriots perceive the EU membership as a bad thing, while 36 per cent believe that is neither positive or negative.

Positive opinion on the EU has increased since the last Eurobarometer –which was released in July 2013 – by 7 points and the negative opinion reduced by 6.

On a European level, 54 per cent of EU citizens look favourably upon the EU as an institution, while 29 per cent oppose it. Some 14 per cent shares neither opinion.

When it comes to the European Parliament, 34 per cent look favourably on it (30 per cent on an EU level), while only 22 per cent have a negative image. A further 43 per cent remain neutral, an increase of 11 percentage points since the last Eurobarometer.

Negative opinion on the EP has dropped by 14 per cent, while the favourite opinion increased by 8 per cent.
Cypriots have increased expectations of the European Parliament, with 84 per cent stating that it wants the EU-wide assembly to play a bigger part in decision making. This is well above the EU average, which comes to 47 per cent.

Cyprus also differs on the percentage of people who feel their voice isn’t heard on a national and European level. While 53 per cent of Europeans believe that their voice isn’t taken into consideration by the EU, this response shoots to 75 per cent among Cypriots.

A stunning 70 per cent of Cypriots also feel that their voice isn’t heard in their own country, the EU average being 39 per cent.

Finally, 72 per cent of people in Cyprus think that electing the EU president and the European Committee based on the European elections results is a step in the right direction and strengthens democracy within the EU. This is close to the European average of 63 per cent.

The Eurobarometer also showed that Europeans still have a weak knowledge of the European Parliament. On a European level, 58 per cent of respondents had heard about Parliament recently – an increase of 11 points since the last Eurobarometer – whereas 40 per cent (down 10 points) had not.

The survey in Cyprus was conducted from November 29 to December 8, 2014, with a sample of 500. A total of 27,801 people took part in EU-wide the survey.

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