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The latest Eurobarometer survey shows that almost two-thirds of EU citizens are likely to vote in the upcoming elections to the European Parliament, scheduled to take place between 6 and 9 June. This represents a significant increase from the lead-up to the 2019 elections, with 71% of respondents declaring they are likely to cast a vote. High rates of likelihood to vote were reported in countries such as Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, and Germany. Some countries also saw a surge in voting likelihood compared to 2019, while Bulgaria experienced a decrease. The survey also revealed a growing interest in the upcoming elections, with 60% of respondents indicating they are “interested” or “very interested.”

The Eurobarometer survey also highlighted the importance EU citizens attach to the upcoming elections, with 53% of respondents regarding them as of “high importance.” The current international context, characterized by geopolitical tensions and economic concerns, appears to be influencing voters’ perceptions, with 81% stating that the context makes voting even more important. The stakes are high at the ballot box, with the elections being seen as pivotal in deciding the direction the EU will take. The Parliament’s president, Roberta Metsola, emphasized the awareness among Europeans of the importance of the upcoming elections.

The survey offered an overview of how EU citizens perceive the European Parliament, with 41% expressing a positive image, an increase of five points since the last survey. Despite recent scandals involving lawmakers and accusations of spreading pro-Russian propaganda, the Parliament has managed to maintain a mostly positive image among respondents. Countries like Portugal, Denmark, Ireland, and Luxembourg showed the highest rates of a positive image, while negative perceptions were more noticeable in countries like the Czech Republic and France. Overall, 56% of citizens expressed a desire for the Parliament to play a more important role.

In terms of priorities for the ongoing political campaign, respondents identified key areas such as the fight against poverty and social exclusion, public health, support for the economy and job creation, and the EU’s defence and security. Other topics that were highlighted included action against climate change, the future of Europe, migration and asylum, democracy and the rule of law, and agricultural policy. These priorities reflect the impact of recent crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and rising inflation. The Eurobarometer also revealed that peace and democracy are the values that citizens would like the Parliament to defend.

Overall, the findings of the Eurobarometer survey indicate a growing engagement and interest among EU citizens in the upcoming elections to the European Parliament. The importance attached to the elections, coupled with a desire for the Parliament to play a more significant role, underscores the significance of the upcoming electoral process. Despite challenges faced by the institution, including scandals and negative publicity, the European Parliament has managed to maintain a positive image among a majority of respondents. The survey results shed light on the priorities and values that citizens are looking for in their elected representatives, emphasizing key issues such as poverty, public health, economic growth, and the defense of peace and democracy.

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