CYPRUS: Cypriots happy with EU but want Euro Parliament to do more

Just over half of Cypriots feel that the country’s European Union membership is a good thing, while exhibiting trust towards the European Parliament as 9 out of ten (91%) want the body to assume a more significant role.

The Eurobarometer was conducted with the participation 0f 27,973 European citizen, aged 15 and above.

According to Eurobarometer released this week, 52% of Cypriots feel that the country’s EU membership is a good thing and 13% feel that it is a bad thing, while 59% feel that the country has benefitted from its membership.

At the same time, just 60% responded that they would cast a remain vote if Cyprus’ and a 20% would cast a leave vote if Cyprus was to hold a referendum similar to the UK Brexit ballot.

Another 20% said they do not know or not sure how they would react. An average of 68% of EU citizens responded that they would vote for their country to ‘remain’.

The percentage of people opting for their country to remain, is at its highest since 1983, and it is linked to EU citizens feeling that their countries have benefitted from their EU membership.

Some 61% in Europe see their country’s participation as positive, also a historic high, as the last time EU citizens had expressed such high appreciation of benefits from the EU was in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down.

The feeling of insecurity among citizens, partly attributable to the challenges the EU faces within its own boarders in recent years, has also changed, as only a 27% of Europeans think the EU “is neither good nor bad”.

Yet, 50% of all respondents feel that things are not moving in the right direction neither in the EU or in their own country. However, half of the respondents (51%) feel that their voice is heard within the EU.

EU citizens’ priorities have changed over the last six months, since the last Eurobarometer. The economy and growth (50%) and youth unemployment (49%) are now at the top of the list, followed by immigration (44%) and climate change (43%), while the fight against terrorism falls to fifth place (41%).

Some 54% of respondents would like to see the role of the European Parliament being strengthened in the future, in response to these international problems.

In Cyprus, some 77% saying that priority should be given to the economy and growth and also to combating youth unemployment.

Source: The Financial Mirror