Lovin Malta carried out a survey on the future of the EU a couple of weeks ago, and the results are in.
The online survey is not intended to show a nationwide trend, but to paint a picture of how Lovin Malta’s readers are analysing the European scene.
Here’s a roundup of the results.
1. First, let’s look at the people who responded
While the gender split was almost even (with a slight bias towards men), a lot of different age groups replied. And while the division was even, there was a slight majority towards the 41-50 (13.2%) and 51-60 (14.%) age groups.
31.9% had a university-level of education, while 21.9% were post-graduates.
2. A vast majority of the respondents (85.1%) are Maltese
Although 13.1% marked ‘Other European’ and 1.9% were non-European.
The majority of people who aren’t Maltese are from the UK*, with Italy, France and Germany coming in as joint runners-up.
3. Over a third of respondents (34.5%) have lived in another EU country before
Considering we were asking our readers what they believe the EU should look like in the next decade, this fact only adds more weight to their opinion.
These are people who have seen life in the EU beyond Malta’s shores, and are back to tell us what they think.
4. Many people ‘feel more European than anything else’
On a scale of 1-10, a total of 80% voted 7 or over. And of those, a whole 29.1% opted for a full 10.
Towards the other end of the scale, 2.9% opted for the lowest, ‘I don’t feel European at all.’
5. Over half of respondents believe being an EU citizen makes a positive difference to their lives
While 58% agreed with the above, 20.1% of respondents opted for the EU just focusing on “improving the economic situations in its member states.”
The next chunk of respondents, 10.1%, said the EU “was much more politically significant in the past with fewer member states who had more in common.”
6. There’s a lot of things people like about being European
Possible answers included everything from the Schengen agreement to the Erasmus+ programme, and while certain options got more responses, a resounding 41% actually voted for all the possible answers.
The most popular individual aspects were the Union’s aim to promote peace and the wellbeing of its people (15.8%), the freedom of movement for workers and self-employed (14.9%) and the single currency (9.3%).
7. People are torn on whether the EU might ever fall apart
27.9% said it would, 26.1% said it wouldn’t. To further stress the uncertainty, 46% answered, “Maybe”.
8. A lot of people think Brexit is ‘madness’
This question was again asked on a 1-10 basis, with 1 referring to Brexit being ‘madness’ and 10 meaning the respondent agreed with the decision.
The lower end of the spectrum (1-4) saw 66.7%, but over half of those respondents (37.6%) went for the lowest possible rating.
Interestingly, however, the numbers dipped up slightly towards the complete other end, with 15% voting between 8-10 (9.6% of which were solidly 10s).
9. People aren’t sure whether the EU should have its own army
While 37.2% voted in favour, slightly tipping the scales towards an EU army, 36.8% countered the idea.
26.1% weren’t sure, and said that might be something worth considering.
10. But nearly half the respondents (45.1%) agreed to the introduction of an EU police force
35.3% said this shouldn’t happen, while 19.6% were on the fence.
11. About 7 in 10 the respondents think burden-sharing of migrants amongst Member States needs to be seriously addressed
A large majority (69.6%) vote in favour of Member States giving the European Commission more powers to address this issue. 15.8% and 14.6% were either against this, or unsure about it, respectively.
12. Not everyone agrees on what the EU should look like in 2025
25.9% said the EU should shift its focus to areas where cooperation is essential but stop imposing burdens like restrictions on state aid.
22.3% thought Member States should give the European Commission more powers and this will allow the EU to be more efficient.
20.7% said the EU should go back to basics and focus on trade instead of trying to get involved in everything.
19.2% feel that the member states who want more cooperation should be allowed to do more together.
11.9%, on the other hand, think nothing needs to change, and that Europe should just keep going with its efforts to improve the lives of citizens.
13. Most people are planning on voting in 2019’s MEP elections
An impressive 73.5%, in fact.
9.2% said they don’t plan on voting, while 17.3% were still unsure.
14. But only 36.1% know where their MEPs stand on the issues mentioned above
37.6% said they don’t know where their MEPs stand on these issues, while 26.2% said they kind of have an idea.