Interest in 2024 European elections appears to be growing
A year before the European elections, people's intention to vote is significantly higher than it was five years ago, a new Eurobarometer survey by the European Parliament showed on Tuesday. At the same time, a large proportion of Europeans are dissatisfied with their standard of living and feel things are not going in the right direction for their country and the European Union.
The Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and high inflation have taken their toll. 50 per cent of EU citizens believe their standard of living has fallen, and a further 29 per cent fear this will continue over the next year. The figures for Belgium are 47 per cent and 27 per cent respectively.
"There is hope and expectation that the European Union will be able to deliver"
"The logical conclusion would be that people are losing confidence, but we don't see that in this poll," says Philipp Schulmeister, responsible for monitoring public opinion in the European Parliament. "It is clear that people feel what is left in their wallets at the end of the month, but at the same time there is hope and expectation that the European Union will be able to deliver."
The survey shows that interest in the 2024 European elections is not waning. Some 67 per cent say they would likely vote if they were held next week. When asked the same question a year before the 2019 European elections, only 58 per cent replied in the affirmative. In Belgium, where voting is compulsory, 73 per cent of respondents said they would likely vote if the European elections were held next week.
Inside the hemicycle of the European Parliament in Brussels during the 2019 elections © AFP