Understanding European Publics’ Political Concerns and Aspirations ahead of the 2024 European Parliament Elections
In June 2024, approximately 400 million people across the European Union are called upon to cast their votes in the European Parliament elections. Recent surveys suggest that, amidst the diverse crises of recent years, many EU citizens are attributing increasing political significance to the EU and are expressing a heightened interest in participating in the elections. Concurrently, polls in numerous EU member states indicate a surge in support for right-wing populist parties. The concern over a further rightward shift in the 2024 European elections and the resulting shift in the balance of political power in Europe is growing amongst those in favour of more democracy and an open society.
Within this intricate scenario, a nuanced analysis of citizens’ political views, avoiding oversimplified doomsday scenarios, is crucial. Our new research project aims to explore how the European public currently perceives the EU and navigates political and economic questions leading up to the elections. We seek to delve deeper into the interplay between economic situations, perceptions, and attitudes on one hand, and political stances on the other.
The research project is designed to identify commonalities in political attitudes, concerns, and hopes among EU citizens in eight member states. We will examine the extent to which political views are shared across different demographic groups and challenge the common assumption that concerns on various issues inevitably translate into a desire for reduced European cooperation.
Particular attention will be given to understanding how individuals with diverse socio-economic backgrounds and living conditions have experienced the multifaceted crises of recent years. Our goal is to explore how these material conditions shape political attitudes towards the EU and pivotal topics such as climate, migration, or EU enlargement. We are also interested in identifying salient themes and determining whether there are common viewpoints across borders within specific demographic groups.
The project begins with an exploratory phase involving qualitative focus groups in France and Germany, followed by a comprehensive quantitative survey in eight EU member states, including Germany, France, Poland, and Italy, with four additional countries awaiting confirmation. Initial findings will contribute to pre-election discussions through informative graphics and a concise report. We also provide material for civil society organisations.
This project is financially supported by the Open Society Foundation gGmbH.