European Parliament marks year to go before new elections

European Parliament marks year to go before new elections
By Robert Hackwill
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As countdown to poll begins new statistics suggest voter fatigue with the EU, and some voters' willingness to listen to old siren voices as populist parties rise.


The countdown for the European parliamentary elections has just begun and Antonio Tajani, the EP's president, marked the date with an event where the EP published the latest Eurobarometer results.

The poll signalled mixed feelings from citizens about the EU.

A big majority thinks the EU membership is a good thing.

For 60% EU membership is a good thing, while 25 % think it is neither a good nor a bad thing and 12 % think its a bad thing.

Euronews asked Mr. Tajani if he expected that in the next European Parliament there would be more eurosceptic lawmakers, and if yes, why?

"Probably yes. But we need to work hard during this year for paving the way for a pro-european parliament. We need good answers, because the problem is not the party. The problem is why a lot of citizens want to vote for this parties," he said.

But people also like emerging populist and eurosceptical parties. The poll says Europeans think they can bring about change and new solutions.

For emerging parties 56% think we need a real change and this is what these parties can bring.

A further 53 % think new political parties and movements can find new and better solutions.

In Italy, where eurosceptic left and right parties are about to govern, people are disappointed with EU.

"I am not happy with what's happening in Italy. I'm not happy with this result. But I think that when there's a a dangerous situation regarding immigration, there's no great European solidarity with Italy or any other country," said Tajani ruefully.

With populists on the rise the next 12 months could see some radical shifts on the EU's political chessboard.

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