European Public Opinion on the Eve of the 2024 European Parliament Elections

As the 2024 European Parliament elections approach on June 9th, public sentiment across the European Union offers a fascinating glimpse into the electorate's mood just 50 days before the polls. According to the latest Spring 2024 Special Eurobarometer, voter engagement appears to be notably high, with considerable implications for EU governance and policy directions.

The forthcoming elections are significant as they decide the 705 members of the European Parliament, who will influence EU legislation and policies for the next five years. These elections are crucial for shaping the European Union's response to global and regional challenges, including economic recovery post-pandemic, climate change, and international tensions.

Voter Engagement and Issues

Interest in the upcoming elections has surged, with 60% of respondents indicating a keen interest, up 11 percentage points since spring 2019. This increase reflects a growing awareness of the EU's role in addressing critical issues. Moreover, 53% of EU citizens consider it important to vote in the European elections, a sentiment that has grown by 6 points since the autumn of 2023. Likely voter turnout is also high, with 71% of citizens likely to cast their ballots, an increase from previous years.

The heightened interest in voting is spurred by the international context, which 81% of citizens believe makes voting even more crucial. The main campaign topics across the EU are diverse yet focus significantly on the fight against poverty, public health, economic support, and enhancing the EU’s defense and security posture.

Perception of the European Parliament and the EU

The perception of the European Parliament is increasingly positive, with 41% of EU citizens viewing it favorably, the highest recorded level. The desire for the European Parliament to play a more significant role is evident, with 56% advocating for increased influence, highlighting a strong mandate from the public for more robust legislative action.

The overall image of the EU remains robust, with 47% holding a positive view, influenced heavily by the collective response to recent global events. The belief that EU membership benefits their country stands strong at 71% across the member states.

Challenges and Optimism for the Future

Despite these positive indicators, the Eurobarometer reveals some challenges. Around 45% of Europeans feel that their standard of living has decreased over the past five years, with significant national variances. However, optimism about the future of the EU remains resilient at 61%, reflecting a hopeful outlook despite existing economic and geopolitical uncertainties.

As we edge closer to the June elections, the stakes are high, and the European electorate's voice is clear and potent. The results of this election will shape the European Union's path forward, highlighting the critical nature of each vote in steering the collective future of the continent.

Read the entire Eurobarometer here