60% of Catalans unaware of European institutions and European election day

Young people aged 18-24 are among most Eurosceptic

Meeting in the Council of the European Union in Europe
Meeting in the Council of the European Union in Europe / Unió Europea

ACN | @agenciaacn | Barcelona

March 2, 2024 06:49 PM

May 15, 2024 11:32 PM

Six out of ten Catalans are unable to name any of the institutions of the European Union.

This is one of the main conclusions of a survey on Catalans’ perceptions of the EU, carried out by the Office of the European Parliament in Barcelona and the Catalan public survey agency (CEO), which was published on Friday.

Not only that, but the survey also shows that 59% of respondents didn’t know the date of the upcoming European elections. 

Of those who were able to name an EU institution, the European Parliament was the one most respondents knew (29%), while 11% answered the Court of Justice of the European Union.

At the same time, a mere 8% of respondents mentioned the European Central Bank, while 7% named the European Commission and 6% knew of the Council of the European Union.

The elections for the European Parliament take place on June 9 in Spain, and in the survey, only 17% of respondents guessed the correct date and month.

The survey also shows that two out of three young Catalans between the ages of 18 and 24 are Eurosceptics, answering “little” or “none” when asked if they felt Europeanist or pro-European.

On average, however, 55% of respondents considered themselves to be pro-European.

Jordi Muñoz, director of the CEO, explained during the presentation of the survey, that the results show that the respondents identify themselves first “very” or “quite” as Pro-Catalan, then “very” or “quite” as Pro-Europeans, and lastly “very” or “quite” Pro-Spaniards.

72% of respondents positive about being part of the EU

When it comes to being part of the European Union, the vast majority of the respondents were positive.

In total, 72% were in favor of Catalonia being part of the EU, whereas 11% were against it.

Furthermore, the likelihood of voting in the upcoming elections was at 7.5, on a scale of 0-10, with 50% of respondents placing themselves at 10, or most likely to vote.

According to Sergi Barrera, director of the Office of the European Parliament in Barcelona, the high expectation of participation in the election reflects that voters are more aware of the importance of the decisions made in Brussels and Strasbourg, “because of Brexit, Covid-19, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the energy crisis, inflation or the war in the Middle East.” 

Nevertheless, Barrera acknowledges that more “pedagogy” is needed regarding the EU and that “all efforts” must be focused on creating more awareness in the next 100 days before the elections. 

84% believe their voice doesn’t count   

The survey also found that 43% are very or quite interested in European politics, compared to 57% who said they weren’t. 

Women (60%) and young people aged between 18 and 24 (76%) were particularly likely to say they were not interested in European politics.  

Even though seven out of ten respondents were positive about being part of the EU and 54% of respondents believe that the EU has an impact on their daily lives, a whopping 84% of respondents said that they believed their voice didn’t count in the European Union.  

Among female respondents, the figure was 86%, and even higher among young people aged 18 and 24, at 96%. 

Priorities in the EU: climate change and immigration

The two issues that the Catalans thought should be a priority for the European Union were climate change and immigration.  

In this regard, 60% of all respondents thought that the EU should be more ambitious politically when it comes to solving issues related to climate change, while 83% are in favor of an EU plan to distribute refugees among the member states.  

When it comes to the war in Ukraine, 57% of respondents believed that the EU should continue its military support. Furthermore, when asked about the expansion of the EU, two-thirds were in favor of an expansion from 27 to 36 member states, with Ukraine being the most popular and Turkey the least.