Cyprus Mail

Cypriots dissatisfied with the functioning of democracy, concerned about migration

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Over half of Cypriots are dissatisfied with the way democracy operates in their country, a proportion exceeding the average dissatisfaction rate in the European Union, Eurobarometer data showed on Wednesday.

According to the findings presented in the national report on Cyprus from the Regular Eurobarometer of Autumn, 53% of Cypriots are dissatisfied with the functioning of democracy in their country, compared to 44% in the EU. Additionally, 49% are satisfied with democracy in the EU, in contrast to 54% in the EU.

The survey, conducted from October 23 to November 17, 2023, involved 506 randomly selected individuals in Cyprus, who participated in personal interviews using a standardized questionnaire.

Cypriots, with minor fluctuations compared to the previous year, still feel inadequately informed about European matters.

A significant percentage expresses mistrust towards the media and institutions. A substantial two-thirds of Cypriots believe that the local media is influenced by political or commercial pressures (66%, higher than the EU average of 49%). Social media is a primary source of information for 53% of Cypriots (higher than the EU average of 30%), but 81% express concerns about encountering distorted or false news, compared to 68% in the EU.

Respondents in Cyprus perceive the general situation in the country (59%, the same as in spring, compared to 56% in the EU) and the economic situation (63%, -3%, compared to 62% in the EU) as unfavorable. Concerning the European economic situation, 46% view it negatively (compared to 44% in the EU), while 43% see it positively (compared to 45% in the EU). However, the majority expects either no change or a deterioration in the next 12 months. Regarding the NextGenerationEU recovery plan of 800 billion euros, 61% believe it will be effective (53% in the EU).

Key issues in Cyprus are perceived to be immigration (50%, 20% in the EU), rising prices, inflation, and the cost of living (46% in Cyprus, 44% in the EU), and the economic situation (32% in Cyprus, 18% in the EU).

Despite these concerns, Cypriots generally express satisfaction with their lives (84%, a 2% decrease compared to spring 2023), aligning with the satisfaction level of Europeans (84%).

Notably, Cypriots hold a neutral (42% in Cyprus, 38% in the EU) to positive (32%, 44% in the EU) view of the EU and its functioning. However, a majority believes that their voice does not count in the EU (74%, compared to 53% in the EU) and that Cyprus’s interests are not adequately considered (64%, compared to 31% in the EU).

While 51% of Cypriots do not think that Cyprus could fare better outside the EU (compared to 64% EU average), 73% feel like EU citizens (72% in the EU), but only 53% feel connected to the EU (compared to 61% in the EU).

Culture, according to most Cypriots and Europeans surveyed (27% and 23% respectively), plays a significant role in creating a sense of community among citizens, followed by values (26% in Cyprus, 23% in the EU).

Migration emerges as a top concern for Cypriots, with 88% supporting strengthening EU external borders with more border guards and coast guards (+2% from spring 2023, 68% in the EU), and a common European asylum system (65% in Cyprus, 68% in the EU).

The majority in Cyprus and the EU view migration from other member states positively (61% and 66% respectively) but hold a negative stance on migration from non-EU countries (75% and 50% respectively).

Cypriot respondents expressed disappointment with their government’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with 56% dissatisfied and 32% satisfied (41% and 54% respectively in the EU). Additionally, 55% are not satisfied with the EU’s response (57% in the EU).

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