Croatian Citizens See Defense of Freedom of Speech and Movement as European Parliament’s Top Priority

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Image: European Parliament/Facebook
Image: European Parliament/Facebook

In Croatia, the highest number of respondents think that the EP’s priority should be to defend freedom of speech (28%) and freedom of movement (28%), while 25% see the protection of human rights as a priority and 22% see democracy as a value the EP should primarily defend.

At the level of the EU, democracy is seen as the most important value (32%), followed by freedom of speech and thought (27%), and the protection of human rights (25%).

Freedom of movement is the most important value for 16% of respondents in the EU, compared to 28% in Croatia.

In the survey, carried out on behalf of the EP, respondents could choose four topics which they think should be a priority to the EP.

At the EU level, the top priority is public health (42%), followed by the fight against poverty and social exclusion (40%) and action against climate change (39%), which is significantly different from the results in Croatia.

Croatian citizens see the fight against poverty as the top priority (52%), followed by support to the economy and the creation of new jobs (48%), public health (34%), and action against climate change (29%).

As many as 83% of Croatian citizens think that Croatia has benefited from being a member of the EU, which is an increase of 5% compared to the previous Eurobarometer survey. In the entire EU, fewer citizens see the benefits of EU membership, with only 72% support.

52% of Croatian respondents see membership of the EU as “a good thing”, 9% see it as “a bad thing”, while 39% see it as neither a good nor a bad thing.

Most EU citizens (63%) are optimistic about the future of the EU.

According to the survey, citizens’ support for the EU, and especially for the EP, significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Croatia and in the EU, 58% of respondents would like the EP to play a more important role.

45% of respondents have a neutral opinion of the EP, and only 17% have a negative opinion. This positive attitude towards the EP is also visible in the latest Standard Barometer 95 of the European Commission, according to which citizens trust the EP the most out of all EU institutions.

Since 2015, the percentage of respondents with a positive opinion of the European Parliament has increased by 12%, to 36%.

In Croatia, 43% of respondents have a positive opinion of the EP, 48% a neutral and only 9% a negative opinion.

The autumn Eurobarometer survey of the EP was conducted from 2 November to 3 December 2021 in all 27 EU member states.

For more, check out our politics section.


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