Cypriots’ top priorities for the European Parliament is protecting public health, the economy, migration, the rule of law and protecting human rights, according to the latest Eurobarometer survey.
The overall survey released on Tuesday was a mixed bag: 71 per cent of Cypriots think the country has benefited from joining the EU (marginally below the EU average of 72 per cent) but only 52 per cent think that EU membership is a “good thing” (ten percentage points below their EU counterparts).
It also found that Cypriots do not believe “their voice counts” both at a national level but also within the wider EU institutions.
Indeed, 68 per cent of Cypriots disagreed with the statement “My voice counts in the EU” – far higher than the 52 per cent of other Europeans surveyed.
An even greater gulf was observed at a national level: 66 per cent of Cypriots do not believe that their voice counts within their own country, compared to 39 per cent of wider EU respondents. Less than one in three (30 per cent) of Cypriots believe that their voice does count domestically (58 per cent of other EU residents believe it does).
The perceived lack of impact in decision making ranks as the greatest reasons why Cypriots do not think they have benefited from the EU (40 per cent) while second was “Cypriot people have very little influence on decisions made at an EU level” (35 per cent).
The least concern for Cypriots was “Being a member of the EU is bad for democracy in Cyprus” – with only five per cent believing that this is the case.
The greatest benefit gained from EU membership according to the Cypriots surveyed was that the EU contributes to maintaining peace and strengthening security (41 per cent, compared to 30 per cent of wider EU thinking).
Interestingly, however, only 22 per cent of Cypriots believe that membership of the EU improves co-operation between Cyprus and other countries of the EU – compared to 32 per cent for other EU residents surveyed.
Cypriots also ranked public health as the most important issue that they wish to see addressed by the European Parliament (61 per cent / EU 42 per cent), followed by the fight against poverty and social exclusion (50 per cent / EU 40 per cent). Also high was for the parliament to support the economy and the creation of new jobs (46 per cent / EU 32 per cent) as was migration and asylum (34 per cent / EU 23 per cent).
The European Parliament’s Autumn 2021 Eurobarometer titled “Defending Democracy / Empowering Citizens”, was carried out between November 1 and December 2 2021 in all 27 EU Member States. The survey was conducted face-to-face and completed with online interviews where necessary as a result of Covid-19-related restrictions. 26,510 interviews were conducted in total, with EU results weighted according to the size of the population in each country. A total of 504 Cypriots were interviewed face to face for the survey.