Support for the European Union is steadily growing among EU citizens, according to the findings of a new Parliament Eurobarometer survey conducted in April. On average, 60% believes that EU membership is a good thing.

The findings of the survey, which polled 27,601 people from all 28 member states, also showed that two-thirds of respondents are convinced that their country has benefited from being a member of the EU. This is the highest score ever measured since 1983.

The survey found that almost a third of respondents already know the date of the next European elections, with 50% being interested in it. In general, the ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ process is perceived as a positive development for European democracy with almost half of respondents saying it would make them more likely to vote. Nearly three-quarters of citizens want this lead candidate process to be accompanied by a real debate about European issues and the future of the EU.

Asked about the specific issues of concern respondents would like to see debated in the election campaigns across the continent, almost half of Europeans (49%) cited the fight against terrorism as priority topic, followed by youth unemployment (48%), immigration (45%) and economy and growth (42%).

Approximately one third of Europeans cite the fight against climate change and the protection of the environment (35%) whilst promoting human rights and democracy as well as the social protection of EU citizens are listed by 32% of respondents.

Meanwhile, a majority of respondents continues to be satisfied with the way democracy works in their country (55%) and in the EU (46%) whilst half of respondents do not consider the emergence of new parties or political movements protesting against the political establishment as threat to democracy per se.