Altroconsumo: only 1 interviewee in 4 is well informed about the European elections

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(Finance) – In view of the approaching European elections, only 1 in 4 of those interviewed are well informed, a percentage that drops even more among young people under 35. This is what emerges from the analysis conducted by Altroconsumo with the aim of gathering the opinion and judgment of Italians on the role and work of the European Union. On this basis, most Italians express a less than positive opinion regarding the activity of the European Union, the impact of its policies on their daily lives, and believes their rights are poorly protected, often confusing the European role with the national one. A vision, however, that changes when we talk about specific initiatives taken by the Union in the last five years on topics of interest to consumers. On the other hand, only one Italian in four (26%) believes that the media provide sufficient information about the EU.

The lack of knowledge of skills, tools and community policies – we read in the report – is reflected in the low confidence among Italians compared to the European Union’s ability to intervene in the areas of greatest concern, namely inflation and the increase in the cost of living (56%), the war between Russia and Ukraine (44%), climate change (44%) , a possible new world war (43%) and energy supplies and prices (40%).

The 47% of respondents believes that the European Union’s policies on the daily lives of citizens have a negative impact, compared to 32% who instead consider the impact positive, while 14% think they are irrelevant. A much more marked pessimism than that recorded in the countries as a whole Euroconsumers (Italy, Belgium, Portugal and Spain)which sees 43% of those interviewed give a positive opinion, 34% negative and 14% neutral (no impact) and decidedly at odds with their cousins ​​in Portugal, where 65% consider the impact of the EU positively.

On thework of the European Union over the last 5 years: 44% expressed themselves negatively, 34% are neutral, and only 17% have a positive opinion. Although the management of the Covid pandemic is assessed positively by 44% of respondents and 33% like the EU digital safety and protection policies, only 5% rated immigration policies positively and 10% those on inflation and the cost of living. The personal economic situation is the aspect that most influences the evaluation of the EU’s activity: people in economic difficulty are those who give it a worse opinion (negative in 57% of cases).

Even the results on initiatives for the protection of citizens reserve some surprises that can only be explained by the lack of awareness of the decisive role of the European Union in providing protection to consumers, establishing the regulatory framework which is then up to the national states to put into practice. If on the one hand, in fact, the perceived level of protection is considered low by 39% of those interviewedmedium by 46% and high by only 12%, well 76% consider the protection of minors on social media to be very importantbut only 54% remember that we must thank the EU.

Same thing goes for protections towards energy suppliers: 74% consider them fundamental measures, but only 39% know that they have been taken at European level. Once again they are above all people in economic difficulty believe the level of protection is low (51%).

Among the issues that Italians would like to see included as priorities in the EU agenda for the next 5 years, in the foreground is Healthbut not only that: “high priority” is also given to foodrespect for consumer rights, the fight against financial scams and issues relating to artificial intelligence and sustainability.

On the eve of elections, what will Italians vote on? At the time of the survey (18-21 March), the electoral campaign was just beginning and half of those interviewed (49%) said they were poorly informed about the programs of the different political groups, a figure in line with the overall figure at Euroconsumers level (48%). 43% said they would still vote following the party supported nationally, a higher figure than the general figure for Euroconsumer countries (33%). Among those who said they did not intend to vote, the main reason was the lack of trust in European institutions (38% compared to 23% of the general figure at European level).

“On 8 and 9 June we are called to the polls to renew the European Parliament. The Italian debate so far has focused more on issues of ‘form’ (lists, candidates, symbols and alliances) than on issues of substance and content that are of interest to citizens and that community institutions will find themselves dealing with in the coming years. Fundamental issues such asto correct market regulationaimed at ensuring equity, competitiveness and the protection of the most vulnerable, together with safeguarding the right to health, food security and a sustainable environment, are neglected in the current context of pre-election political debate”. He declares Federico Cavallo, Altroconsumo External Relations Manager.

“From our investigation, however, it emerges 52% want more Europe and it is especially young people who are more optimistic and who trust in European institutions. However, the degree of lack of knowledge and awareness is worrying that our fellow citizens themselves admit to having regard to community skills and functioning mechanisms. This is also due to information that is not always complete and careful in helping them understand. It is therefore not surprising to find a certain disillusionment on the part of citizens towards the community institutions, which over time have played an important role in formulating regulations and implementing measures for the benefit of consumers. An alarm bell that is further aggravated by noticing how it is the groups in greatest economic difficulty who appear to be most critical, attributing the presumed responsibility for their condition to Brussels. It is therefore of fundamental importance that Italians remember that we ourselves are Europe that we want and that it is necessary to require the commitment of elected representatives – as well as of politics as a whole – to address and resolve the issues crucial to the lives of all European citizens”, concludes Cavallo.

The investigation was carried out in collaboration with Euroconsumersan acronym that brings together consumer organizations from Spain, Portugal and Belgium as well as Italy, with Altroconsumo.