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Cypriots want bigger role for EP, say EU membership ‘a positive move’

European Parliament Strasbourg Hemicycle Diliff
EU Parliament

Cyprus tops the list of EU member states which want the European Parliament to play a more important role in future, the latest Eurobarometer figures show.

While 91 per cent in Cyprus agreed with this statement, the EU average is 63 per cent.

Belgium ranks second with 82 per cent and Luxembourg third with 79 per cent.

Countries last on the list are Slovakia (38 per cent) and Denmark (40 per cent).

The new survey commissioned by the European Parliament (EP) and conducted from November to December 2020 shows the positive image of the EP increased at the end of last year to 37 per cent in the EU, which represents the highest level since 2007.

In Cyprus, the percentage of respondents who say they have a positive image of the EP reached 32 per cent.

“The pandemic and its socio-economic consequences have led citizens to formulate a new top political priority for the EC,” the Eurobarometer report said.

A total of 65 per cent of respondents in Cyprus placed the fight against poverty and social inequality at the top of the agenda. This is the top priority in all EU member states except Finland, the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Sweden where the fight against terrorism and crime is at the forefront.

On average in the EU, next on the agenda are to combat terrorism and crime (35 per cent), to ensure quality education for all (33 per cent), and to protect our environment (32 per cent). In Cyprus, in second place is improving access to quality education for all (47 per cent) and third is the need for full-time employment in all EU member states (37 per cent).

The protection of human rights worldwide is by far the first choice of Cypriots when it comes to choosing the core values which the EU should defend with 70 per cent of those surveyed opting for this choice.

This is in line with other Europeans. Over half said human rights advocacy worldwide is a top priority.

The survey also shows a ten percentage point increase in the number of people who expressed a positive view of the EU (50 per cent) compared to the autumn of 2019. In Cyprus, 45 per cent of respondents had a positive view of the EU.

While the positive image of the EU was growing at the end of last year, the call for change increased as well.

Only 14 per cent of Cypriots support the EU exactly as it has been achieved so far (compared to the EU average of 27 per cent), while 44 per cent (the same percentage for Cyprus and the EU) are ‘probably in favour of the EU’, but not in the way it is today. 38 per cent of respondents in Cyprus are rather skeptical about the EU but could change their minds again if there is a radical reform.

However, there is widespread support for the notion the EU is a good thing.

The percentage of Europeans who say their country’s EU membership is a positive element has reached its highest level since 2007 (63 per cent). In Cyprus, 55 per cent answered that EU membership was a positive move, representing an increase of two points compared to the autumn of 2019.

A total of 27,213 Europeans from the 27 member states participated in the survey from November 20 to December 21, 2020. In Cyprus, 507 people were interviewed for the study.

The Eurobarometer report can be found here:

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/at-your-service/en/be-heard/eurobarometer/parlemeter-2020

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