7 August 2019
Figures from recent opinion polling, released on Monday, found that there had been a 10% increase in the number of Britons who believed that their “voice counts” in the EU.
Conducted in the weeks after May’s European elections, across all 28 Member States, more than 27.000 citizens answered questions about their participation in the European elections, the reasons why they voted and the issues that mattered most to them.
Across the 28 countries, support for the European Union remains at its highest level since 1983, with 68% of respondents affirming that their country has benefitted from being in the EU.
Although the UK had one of the lowest levels of support for the EU, 58% of those surveyed still felt that EU membership was beneficial.
This was also underlined by the fact that explicitly pro-EU parties like the Greens and the Liberal Democrats did particularly well in the last EU elections.
The polling also showed that after the economy and growth, combating climate change and protecting the environment was the second most important issue that helped determined how people voted in May.
The increased awareness of environmental issues may suggest why the Greens did so well across Europe, getting over 70 MEPs elected in what was dubbed a “Green Wave”. In Britain too, the size of the Green Party contingent in Brussels increased from three to seven.
Commenting on the figures Catherine Rowett, who made history by becoming the first Green Party MEP for the East of England said:
“These results show that immigration, human rights and economic matters do still feature prominently in voter’s minds and, like climate change, these are not issues that affect one country in isolation. They require international collaboration and cooperation to ensure that the appropriate action is taken, whether that be making our economy fairer for all, protecting the basic human rights we all cherish, or taking action to deal with the impending environmental crisis that will affect us and our children.
“I am delighted to see that people across Europe are waking up to the need to take urgent action to avert climate breakdown. The best way to take the drastic steps needed, is by ensuring that governments work together. The causes and effects don’t stop at national borders. They can only be resolved by working collaboratively. That’s why I and my colleagues are so passionate about keeping Britain in the EU so that we can work together collectively and democratically, with our European neighbours, to avert the climate breakdown.”
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