The European Union's image has improved in the eyes of a majority of Europeans in the last 10 months, according to the latest Eurobarometer survey.
A survey commissioned by the European Parliament found that a majority of EU citizens believe that the Parliament is the institution that best represents the EU. The poll was released yesterday (6 September).
Those surveyed also said that voting in the European elections is the best way to make their voice heard. The next Parliament elections will be in June 2014.
"The findings are encouraging", said European Parliament President Martin Schulz.
"The current economic and financial crisis demonstrates that we need solutions at supranational level. The EU is a unique project worldwide with law-making powers that can offer such solutions, where individual measures at individual state level would not suffice. Citizens recognise this," Schulz added.
Forty percent of the respondents have a favourable opinion of the EU, compared to 31% in November 2011. Half said that membership of the EU is "a good thing", compared to 47% in the previous Eurobarometer survey.
However, EU citizens are still divided on whether or not their voice counts – 54% gave negative answers, down 7 points from last year, as opposed to 42% positive responses, which were up 9 points.
Some 57% of respondents said voting in the next European Parliament elections is the best way to make their voices heard, with a quarter of them already aware that these elections will take place in two years time.
More than 50% of the respondents said they would be more inclined to vote, than they are today, if each European political party was to put forward a candidate for the post of President of the European Commission.
Job creation and fighting unemployment came in as the top priority anti-crisis measures for the EU citizens, according to the survey.
The Eurobarometer survey was commissioned by the European Parliament and conducted between 2 and 17 June 2012. 26,622 citizens were interviewed in the 27 EU countries. The results have a margin of error of between 1.9 and 3.1 percentage points.