“Maltese trust MEPs most to explain European policies, and 57% say they trust EU”
The Maltese are the most likely member state in the European Union to consider Members of the European Parliament the best placed to explain the impact of European policies on their everyday life, a survey conducted in the EU’s 172 regions during the regular Eurobarometer in September, shows.
Curiously, in most European regions it is local and regional representatives – such as local councillors – who are considered to be in the best placed to explain European policies, a view endorsed by just 7% of Maltese respondents.
The higher percentage of Maltese who think MEPs are best placed to explain European policies to citizens could reflect the high standing of MEPs in the local political system, and the hype generated by the MEP elections where turnout is the highest in the European Union.
It could also reflect the more direct contact between MEPs and their constituents in a small island state.
But this is not the case in Cyprus, which has a similar population, and like Malta six MEPs only – 23% of Cypriots think MEPs are best placed to explain EU policies. But like the Maltese, Cypriots are less likely than other Europeans to think that local representatives are best placed to explain EU policies. Only 4% of Cypriots think so.
In Luxemburg, another European minnow, only 19% think of their MEPs are believed to be the best placed to explain EU policies; while 37% opt for their national MPs and 8% opt for local representatives.
The only EU regions were MEPs enjoy the same standing as in Malta is the Danish region of Sydannmark, where 36% consider their MEP as being best placed to explain EU policies.
The survey also shows that 57% of the Maltese tend to trust the European Union, 11 points higher than the European average of 46%. Moreover only 29% of Maltese tend not to trust the European Union compared to a European average of 49%.
The highest level of trust in the European Union is registered in the Italian region of Trento, where 65% tend to trust the European Union. The highest levels of trust in the European Union are registered in Italian and Polish regions. Luxemburg registers the same level of trust like Malta (57%).
– maltatoday : Wednesday 7 November 2012