EUROPEAN COMMISSION - PRESS RELEASE - EUROBAROMETER
March 3, 2005
This is the first Eurobarometer survey that has been carried out on the whole island of Cyprus. Details of the methodology can be found in the following two sections which deal with the survey in the areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus exercises effective control (Government controlled areas = GCA) as well as the survey in the northern part of Cyprus. The main findings of the Eurobarometer 62 are:
The major problems facing the two societies are different. Persons living in the GCA are concerned more about crime (44%) and inflation (41%), while those living in the northern part are more worried about their economic situation (55%) and unemployment (48%).
Eurobarometer Executive Summary Cyprus Autumn 2004
Persons living in the GCA feel that the most important thing Cyprus has gained from its EU membership is security (73%). In contrast, those from the northern part expect that the main benefit will be economic stability (77%).
At the same time, persons in the GCA associate the EU much more with peace (59% vs. 8%), while those in the northern part of the island associate the EU more with economic prosperity (54% vs.20%).
Moreover, the EU inspires much more hope among those living in the GCA than the persons from the northern part (60% vs. 12%), who are mainly unsure what feelings the EU evokes in them (65%).
In general, fears about the construction of Europe are more evident among the population in the GCA. More importantly, fears related to economic issues, such as more difficulties for farmers and a national financial crisis, emerge as major concerns among the GCA population while they do not much concern the population in the northern part.
The EU is trusted more by those living in the GCA than in the northern part (59% vs. 49%). In contrast, those in the northern part of Cyprus tend to trust the United Nations more than in the GCA (42% vs. 34%).
70% of those in the northern part of the island consider their participation in the EU would be a positive thing, compared to 52% in the GCA. Moreover, persons residing in the GCA believe to a much lower degree (40%) that the country has benefited overall from accession than the population in the northern part has expected the benefit of joining the EU to be (75%).
Although almost equal proportions of persons living in the GCA and the northern part believe that the EU will play a more important role in their future lives (62% vs. 58%), the proportion of those who would like the EU to play a more important role in their life is much higher among the population living in the GCA (77% vs. 52%).
The perceived level of knowledge about the European Union and its institutions is the same throughout the island, averaging 4.7 (max=10), but actual knowledge on specific subjects is higher among the population living in the GCA.
Awareness of the main European Institutions (European Parliament, European Commission, Council of Ministers, European Court, Central Bank) is high on the island. Even though most persons in both the GCA and the northern part are aware that EU institutions play an important role in life in Europe, those living in the GCA are more positive about all of them. The level of trust shown towards them is significantly higher among the people residing in the GCA.
The populations in the GCA and the northern part have different opinions regarding EU priorities. Most persons in the GCA consider that the EU's main priority should be the fight against poverty and social exclusion (59%), while those in the northern part think it should be the fight against unemployment (46%).
Most support further EU integration. Still, support for a Common Foreign and Security Policy, a European Security and Defence Policy and an EU Constitution is higher among people living in the GCA. On the other hand, the level of support for a European Monetary Union is higher among persons living in the northern part. Support for further enlargement of the EU attracts the same degree of support throughout the island. Concerning the European Security and Defence Policy, the proportion of those supporting that decisions should be taken by the EU is much higher among those in the GCA (73% vs. 46%).
Among both samples, the primary source of information about the European Union is TV. Still, discussions with friends and the radio are used significantly more as a source of information by the population in the GCA, while daily press is mentioned to a higher degree as a source of information by the population in the northern part.
Perceptions as to the presentation of the EU by local media vary significantly. Most of those in the GCA say the local media deals too little with the EU, while the majority living in the northern part believes that it deals too much with it. With regards to objectivity, a significantly higher proportion among the GCA population believes that the media presents the EU objectively (54% vs. 30%).
The population living in the GCA is much more satisfied with its life in general (90%) than the population living in the northern part of the island (60%). Comparing with five years ago, there are more persons in the north who feel that their life has improved (56% vs. 43%). More importantly, persons in the north are more optimistic that their personal situation will improve within the next five years (60% vs. 40%).
The population in the north part is much more optimistic in terms of both its personal economic situation and employment conditions (40% and 36% vs. 14% and 16%). At the same time, the population living in the GCA is much more pessimistic about the future economic situation of the country (68%) and employment (54%). The respective pessimistic views among the population in the northern part are shared by only 36% and 21%.
The results regarding the trust placed in various local institutions are more or less the same. In both the GCA and the northern part of Cyprus, the lowest levels of trust are recorded for big companies and political parties.
SUMMARY EUROBAROMETER 62 – AREAS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS – AUTUMN 2004
Eurobarometer 62 is the first standard Eurobarometer survey conducted in Cyprus after the country’s accession to the European Union.
In the areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does exercise effective control, 500 persons aged 15 years and over were interviewed face-to-face at their place of residence between 10th and 31st October 2004. The sample is representative of the whole population.
Fieldwork was carried out by Synovate under the auspices of TNS Opinion and Social, a consortium created by Taylor Nelson Sofres and EOS Gallup Europe.
1. Life in Cyprus
The majority of Greek Cypriots are satisfied with their life: § Nine out of ten are satisfied with their life in general, while 43% feel that within the past five years their personal situation has improved. Three out of ten, however, state that their personal situation has worsened within the same time frame, while 26% considers it to have remained the same.
§ Greek Cypriots feel to a somewhat higher degree than the average for all 25 EU Member States that their personal situation has improved within the past five years (43% - Greek Cypriots; 39% - average for the EU25).
Future short-term expectations, however, are less optimistic: § Most Greek Cypriots expect that their life in general will remain the same (42%), or will deteriorate (17%) in the near future.
§ At the same time, only 14% foresees their households’ financial situation improving and only 16% foresees their personal employment conditions improving.
Greek Cypriots’ expectations for their country as a whole are much worse than their expectations for their personal well-being:
§ The majority, 68%, evaluates that the financial situation in Cyprus will deteriorate within the next twelve months, while the respective negative opinion with regards to employment conditions is shared by 54%.
§ The percentages of Greek Cypriots foreseeing a deterioration of their household’s and their country’s financial situation are the highest recorded among all EU Member States.
Greek Cypriots are more optimistic about their long-term prospects: § Within the next five years, 40% expects their personal situation to improve. The belief that their personal situation will remain as it is, is shared by 27% of Greek Cypriots, while two out of ten foresee a worsening future for themselves.
§ The level of optimism expressed above does not differ considerably from the respective EU25 average.
The major problems in Greek Cypriot society today are crime (44%), inflation (41%), and the general economic situation (36%): § The level of concern as to the financial situation of the country has increased over the past six months (27%: Spring 2004 - 36%: Fall 2004).
§ Still, the main problem concerning the EU in its entirety - unemployment (46%) - worries only a small segment of Greek Cypriot society (9%).
Greek Cypriots show great trust towards institutions: § From a list of national institutions, Greek Cypriots most trust the National Guard (78%), as well as charity and volunteer organizations (73%). Greek Cypriots’ level of trust is also high towards their Government (65%), Religious Institutions (64%), the Parliament (63%), the radio (62%), television (62%), police (62%) and their Justice System (61%).
§ 59% trust the EU, a percentage which exceeds the average of all EU Member States (50%).
§ Among Greek Cypriots, the lowest levels of trust are expressed towards political parties (26%), large companies (26%) and the United Nations (34%).
Still, the level of trust placed in institutions directly related to the political system and the way democracy works in Cyprus has decreased: § ?he level of trust towards the Parliament, the political parties as well as the level of satisfaction from the way democracy operates on the island are the lowest recorded since 2001. The same can be said for the level of trust towards the Government of the Republic of Cyprus (except the autumn 2002 study).
2. Knowledge about the European Union
Most Greek Cypriots consider their knowledge of the EU and its institutions to be average:
§ On a ten-point scale, the mean value comes to 4.7 and is below the scale average (5.5).
§ Still, Greek Cypriots believe themselves to know more about the European Union and its Institutions than the average EU citizen (4.7- Cyprus; 4.3 - EU25).
§ Even though most consider their knowledge of EU and its institutions to be average, a significant portion (60%) states that they are aware of the way the EU operates. This percentage is higher than the EU average of 47%.
Greek Cypriots’ level of knowledge on specific subjects about the EU is quite high:
§ Some 55% to 80% know the number of EU Member States, are aware that Members of the European Parliament are elected by EU citizens, know that the EU President is not directly elected by EU citizens, are aware that the EU has its own National Anthem, know that there is a Europe Day and are aware that the last European Parliamentary elections were not held in June 2002. Greek Cypriots’ awareness levels for all of the above subjects are higher than the respective percentages of the total of all EU member states.
§ Since spring 2004, right before Cyprus’ accession to the EU, Greek Cypriots’ level of knowledge of the issues under investigation has increased.
§ The overwhelming majority (93%) knows the EU flag. Once more, the awareness level among Greek Cypriots is higher than among the total of all EU Member States (86%).
Seven out of ten Greek Cypriots state that they know where most of the EU budget is spent on - but most are wrong:
§ Most believe that the largest part of the budget goes to administration and personnel costs (23%), a view which is also the most prevalent across the EU25. (30%). The reality is that most of the budget is spent on Agriculture and Regional Aid.
Television is the primary source of information on the EU, its policies and institutions:
§ The majority of Greek Cypriots obtains information on the EU from television (76%), which is also true for citizens of the EU as a whole (71%).
§ A significant portion of Greek Cypriots, nonetheless, also obtain information through discussions with friends (41%), the radio (40%) and the daily press (39%).
Most Greek Cypriots prefer receiving information on the EU via television (68%):
§ The radio and the daily press are the second most preferred sources (both 33%).
§ A book with a detailed description or a short leaflet that just gives an overview, are the preferred sources of information by 31% and 30% respectively.
§ References to other media were limited.
Most Greek Cypriots believe that, even though there is insufficient presentation of the EU through the media, the presentation that occurs is objective:
§ Most adopt the position that the presentation of the EU through the Cyprus media is too little (41%). Still, an important portion considers that the EU’s presentation to be about right (36%), while only two out of ten believe that the presentation of the EU through the Cyprus media is excessive.
§ Nevertheless, more than half believe that the presentation of the EU through the national media is objective (54%).
§ This Eurobarometer study shows an increase from the previous one in the level of people who consider the presentation of the EU through the media to be about right (30%: Spring 2004, 36%: Fall 2004) and that the media presents the EU objectively (47%: Spring 2004, 54%: Fall 2004).
3. European Union Institutions
Most Greek Cypriots state that they have heard of the key EU institutions: § 87% have heard of the European Court, 84% of the European Parliament, 79% of the European Commission and 74% of the Council of Ministers. The remaining institutions are less known among Greek Cypriots.
§ Comparing to the total of all EU Member States, awareness of the European Court of Justice, the Council of Ministers and the European Ombudsman is higher among Greek Cypriots. For the remaining institutions the awareness level among Greek Cypriots is lower than the EU25 average.
The majority of Greek Cypriots recognize that EU institutions play an important role in life in Europe:
§ Greek Cypriots place most importance on the European Parliament (87%), the European Court (87%), the European Commission (85%) and the Council of Ministers of the European Union (83%).
§ Greek Cypriots recognize the importance of the role played by EU institutions more than the total population of all member countries.
Among EU institutions, Greek Cypriots tend to trust the European Court (72%), the European Parliament (64%) and the European Commission (64%) the most:
§ More than half also tend to trust the Council of Ministers and the European Central Bank. The level of trust in the remaining institutions is lower and ranges from 42% to 45%.
§ Greek Cypriots tend to trust EU institutions more than the EU25 average.
4. Perceptions of the EU
Only a few months since Cyprus’ accession into the EU, one out of two Greek Cypriots considers the country’s participation in the EU positively: § Still, the percentage of Greek Cypriots with a positive outlook on their country’s participation in the EU is lower (56%) than the EU25 average.
§ Three out of ten Greek Cypriots hold a neutral stance towards their country’s participation in the EU, while a relatively low percentage views the accession negatively.
§ The proportion with a positive attitude is higher than the corresponding one in the spring 2004 survey, which was the last survey before Cyprus’ accession.
40% of Greek Cypriots believes that their country has overall benefited from its EU accession. The majority, 51%, believes that their country has not benefited:
§ The percentage which believes that the country has benefited, is the lowest recorded among all new EU Member States and the third lowest among all EU Member States (Sweden and the United Kingdom have the lowest recorded levels). On the other hand, the percentage which believes that the country has not benefited is the highest among all EU Member States.
Still, it can be noted that most Greek Cypriots feel that they are gaining important benefits from Cyprus’ membership in the EU:
§ This is particularly true in the areas of security (73%) and political stability (64%). Notably, the majority of Greek Cypriots believe that their country’s participation in the EU will lead to more security and political stability, than the EU25 average.
§ At the same time, six out of ten believe that Cyprus’ voice will matter more within the EU and that it will have more influence within the EU. One in two Greek Cypriots also believes that his/ her voice counts within the EU.
Opinions vary as to the EU's role on a series of issues involving Cyprus: § Most believe that the EU plays a positive role in environmental protection (67%), foreign affairs (55%), issues involving the educational system (46%), defence (46%), the healthcare system (43%), public transportation (41%) and the fight against terrorism (39%).
§ When it comes to the fight against crime as well as pensions and housing, most believes that the role of the EU is neither positive nor negative (33%-39%).
§ On the following issues, the majority considers the role of the EU to be negative: inflation (62%), taxation (60%), financial situation of the country (48%), fight against unemployment (45%) and immigration to Cyprus (40%).
Most Greek Cypriots (62%) believe that the European Union will play a more important role in their life in five years' time:
§ The hopes placed in the European Union and the expectations from Cyprus’ accession are expressed through the high portion of public opinion that wishes the European Union to play a more important role (77%).
§ The percentage of Greek Cypriots expecting the European Union to play a more active role in their lives within the next five years is the highest among all EU Member States. More importantly, the same is true of the percentage of those wanting the European Union to play a more important role.
The majority of Greek Cypriots are developing a dual identity, primarily identifying themselves as Greek Cypriots and secondarily as Europeans:
§ The percentage among Greek Cypriots developing a dual identity (61%) is the highest among all EU Member States.
Greek Cypriots have about the same image of the EU as the EU25 average:
§ One out of two has a positive image of the EU, while two out of ten have a negative one. The remaining 30% have a neutral image of the EU.
Greek Cypriots associate extensively the European Union with a number of positive attributes. At the same time, however, a small proportion of the populace also links the European Union with negative elements:
§ Among Greek Cypriots, the European Union primarily comes to mean freedom to travel, study and work (66%), and peace (59%). The European Union is also associated to a large extent with democracy (44%), diversity of cultures (41%), social protection (36%) and a stronger voice in the world (31%). The level of association of these attributes with the EU (with the exception of stronger voice in the world) is significantly higher among Greek Cypriots than the EU25 average.
§ Respectively, a quarter of Cyprus’ public opinion associates the EU with negative elements such as the crime rate (25%) and unemployment (24%). Once more, Greek Cypriots associate these attributes with the EU to a larger extent than the total population of the EU.
Furthermore, the European Union touches Cypriot citizens on an emotional basis:
§ For the majority of Greek Cypriots, the European Union brings about the feeling of hope (60%), while for three out of ten the EU inspires trust.
§ On the contrary, negative feelings like rejection (5%), distrust (14%) and anxiety (21%) are felt towards the EU to a significantly lower extent.
§ One out of ten Greek Cypriots is indifferent about the European Union.
The construction of Europe causes some fears among Greek Cypriots: § The level of worry is higher for attributes associated with rising drug trafficking and international organised crime (79%), more difficulties for farmers (78%) and the country’s financial crisis (73%). High levels of worry are also expressed by Greek Cypriots with regards to ever increasing financial contributions by Cyprus towards the EU (62%) and the transfer of jobs abroad to countries with lower costs of production (56%).
The European Union’s impact on life in Cyprus is confirmed by the stance that the majority of Greek Cypriots take towards the decision-taking procedure that should be adopted in important economic and social sectors:
§ For most of the sectors under investigation, the dominant opinion is that decision-making should be carried out collectively by the European Union. These sectors are: scientific and technological research, information for the European Union, policies and institutions of the EU, humanitarian help, fight against poverty and social exclusion, support of areas in need of economical help, health and social welfare, fight against unemployment, agriculture and fishing policy, and basic rules of radio, television and the press. Only for policy on culture does the majority believe that decisions should be made by the national government. With regards to the areas of defence, education and currency, Greek Cypriots support national and joint decision making almost to the same degree.
§ Concurrently, Greek Cypriots in their majority believe that decisions regarding the fight against organised crime, drugs, trade and exploitation of people, international terrorism, juvenile delinquency, as well as dealing with the challenge of population ageing and the migration and asylum policy should be taken collectively by the European Union.
The majority of Greek Cypriots recognise the EU's important positive contribution to world issues:
§ Most believe that the EU plays a positive role on issues such as environmental protection (76%), world peace (70%) and the fight against terrorism (61%). More than half consider the EU to be playing a positive role in the growth of the world economy (56%) and the fight against poverty in the world (53%).
§ For all the aforementioned issues, the percentage of Greek Cypriots considering the EU’s contribution to be positive is higher than the EU25 average.
5. European Development
Most Greek Cypriots believe that the EU’s priority should be to fight poverty and social exclusion:
§ Out of a list of specific actions that the EU could undertake, Greek Cypriots support most that the priority should be the fight against poverty and social exclusion (53%). Following, in order of support, is the preservation of peace and safety in Europe (48%), the fight against organised crime (45%) and unemployment (34%), and the guarantee of the rights of the individual and the respect of democracy in Europe (28%).
Most Greek Cypriots support further integration of the EU as a whole: § Six out of ten Greek Cypriots are in favour of a European Monetary Union with a common currency, the Euro.
§ At the same time, the majority of Greek Cypriots are in support of a common foreign policy among EU Member States towards other countries (78%), and a common defence and security policy among EU Member States (83%). It is noteworthy that the level of support for a common defence and security policy is overwhelming in all EU Member States.
§ Three out of four Greek Cypriots also support for the creation of an EU Constitution (this position is also adopted by the majority of the population in each EU Member State).
§ Most Greek Cypriots (as well as the EU25 average), agree with the further development of a Common Foreign and Security Policy as well as a European Security and Defence Policy, which would reinforce the EU’s role in international matters. Among Greek Cypriots, support is higher for the adoption of a common position among EU Member States on international crisis and the guarantee of human rights in every Member State, even if this comes into conflict with the wishes of certain member states.
§ Greek Cypriots in their majority also support that decisions on European Defence Policy should be taken by the European Union. Among citizens of each member state, the highest level of support for this issue is found among Greek Cypriots (73%). Greeks follow in second place with 67%, while the average support of the total of all EU Member States is 52%.
§ Further enlargement of the EU to include new Member States is supported by six out of ten Greek Cypriots. Support for further enlargement of the EU is higher among the newest Member States.
6. Demographic trends
§ Men are better informed on issues relating to the EU, place more trust in EU institutions and recognise its role to a higher extent than women.
§ The youth, those aged 15 to 24, are more optimistic of the future and trust the European Union more.
§ On most of the issues under investigation that relate to the EU, individuals aged 25 to 34 appear to be more conservative and to hold a more negative stance.
§ On all relevant issues, respondents with higher educational levels are more positive towards the EU than those with lower educational levels.
EUROBAROMETER 62 - NORTHERN PART OF CYPRUS - AUTUMN 2004
This is the first Standard Eurobarometer survey in the northern part of Cyprus. The survey was done by KADEM under the auspices of TNS Opinion & Social, a consortium created between Taylor Nelson Sofres and EOS Gallup Europe.
The survey was carried out between 15th and 28th October 2004. 500 persons aged 15 years and over were interviewed face-to-face in their homes. The sample is representative of the whole population.
Most Turkish Cypriots are satisfied with their lives: • Two out of three are satisfied with the life they lead, with those who are very satisfied as high as 50%. Only 15% say that their situation has worsened as compared to five years ago, while 56% say it has improved and 27% that it has remained the same.
• The proportion of Turkish Cypriots who regard their personal situation as having improved compared to five years ago is higher than the average for European Union (EU25) as a whole (39%).
Expectations about personal prospects in the near future are optimistic: • Most Turkish Cypriots expect their life in general, the financial situation of their household and their personal employment situation to improve (46%, 40% and 36%, respectively). Those who expect things to get worse in these areas constitute only around 10%.
• The percentage of Turkish Cypriots who are uncertain as to how their lives, the financial situation of their household and their personal employment situation will change in the next twelve months are greater (between 13% and 17%) than in the EU25 (3% to 6%).
Opinion is somewhat less optimistic when it comes to future prospects: • As regards the economic situation for the next twelve months, 43% expect it to get better, 22% believe that it will not change, and 21% forecast a decline. The respective opinions concerning the employment situation in this area are 35%, 25%, and 23%.
• The picture is more optimistic than that in EU25 where 18% think the economic situation will change for the better, 33% that there will be no change, and 43% that it will change for the worse. 17% think that the employment situation will change for the better, 31% that there will be no change, and 47% that the situation will worsen.
There is definite optimism among Turkish Cypriots regarding their own personal futures:
• The expectations for the next five years are definitely positive with 60% foreseeing that their personal situation will improve and only 7% anticipating a change for the worse.
• The level of optimism regarding the long-term prospects is much higher among Turkish Cypriots than the EU25 average of 42%. The proportion of the population expecting their personal situation to deteriorate (7%) is also noticeably lower than the EU25 average (16%)
. The most important issues for Turkish Cypriots are the economic situation (55%) and unemployment (48%):
• The same two items top the most important issues list for the EU25, though not in the same order: first unemployment (46%) and second the economic situation (27%).
Trust is mixed concerning organisations:
• 57% of Turkish Cypriots trust television, 51% radio and 47% the press.
• Trust in the European Union (EU) is 49% (close to the EU25 average of 50%), while trust in the United Nations (UN) is 42% (lower than the EU25 average of 54%).
• Big companies and political parties are the least trusted institutions (33% and 25%, respectively) which is the same on average in the EU25 total (31% and 17% respectively).
Satisfaction with the way democracy works in the northern part of Cyprus is low:
• Most Turkish Cypriots (62%) express dissatisfaction with the way democracy works in the northern part of Cyprus, while 34% say they are satisfied.
• This negative opinion is higher than the average for the EU25 (where 40% are dissatisfied with the way democracy work in their country and 57% are satisfied).
2. Knowledge about the EU
Quizzed about the EU, Turkish Cypriots' knowledge is about the same as the EU25 average:
• 47% say they understand the way the EU operates, the same result as for the EU25.
• Some 61% are aware that the number of EU Member States is not twelve, 54% that the Members of the European Parliament are directly elected by the citizens of the EU, 34% that the President of the European Commission is not directly elected by the citizens of the EU, 36% that the EU does have its own anthem, 40% that each year there is a Europe Day in all the countries of the EU, and 24% that the last elections to the European Parliament were not held in June 2002.
• The respective percentages for the above in the EU25 are 58%, 58%, 59%, 34%, 41%, and 36%.
• A huge majority of Turkish Cypriots (93%) recognise the EU flag and 83% know what it stands for. Both levels are comparable to those for the EU25.
Many however are wrong about what most of the EU budget is spent on: • The highest number of persons (23%) believes that the largest part of the EU's budget goes on foreign policy and aid to countries outside the EU.
• 4% think that most of the budget is spent on administrative and personnel costs and buildings, which is the view held by the highest proportion of EU25 (23%). The reality is that most of the EU's budget is spent on Agriculture and Regional Aid.
Television is the primary source of information about the EU for Turkish Cypriots:
• Most Turkish Cypriots (69%) get their information about the EU from television, a situation similar to that in EU25 (71%).
• Other sources of information are daily newspapers (47%), discussions with friends and relatives (23%), radio (%16), and the internet (13%).
Most Turkish Cypriots would prefer television as their main source of EU information:
• Television remains the main source (58%), though some would opt for a book that gives a complete description (27%) while others prefer daily newspapers (22%).
• A more detailed brochure, the radio, internet, and a DVD or a video cassette about the EU would be preferred by 21%, 19%, 16% and 13% respectively.
Most Turkish Cypriots believe that their media talks both too much and too positively about the EU:
• About one in every two thinks that the amount of EU coverage in the local media is excessive, a ratio higher than that for any other EU Member State.
• Those who find the local media’s presentation of the EU objective constitute 30%, which is less than that in any other EU Member State.
3. The EU institutions and bodies
Most Turkish Cypriots are fairly familiar with EU institutions and bodies: • The level of familiarity is generally comparable to that found in the EU25.
• 82% have heard of the European Parliament and the European Commission, 62% of the Council of Ministers, 65% of the European Court of Justice, and 59% of the European Central Bank.
Three quarters (76%) of Turkish Cypriots think that the European Parliament plays an important role in the EU's life:
• Also the European Commission is regarded as having an important role by 73%, the European Court of Justice by 69%, the EU Council of Ministers by 68%, the European Central Bank by 62%, the EU Economic and Social Committee by 55%, and the EU Committee of Regions by 50%.
• On the importance of the European Ombudsman and the European Court of Auditors, bodies that are less familiar to Turkish Cypriots, most do not express an opinion.
• About half of all Turkish Cypriots tend to trust the European Parliament (52%), the European Commission (51%), the European Court of Justice (48%) and the EU Council of Ministers (47%). A quarter (27%) don't trust any of them
4. Perceptions of the EU
Most Turkish Cypriots (57%) have a positive image of the EU: • Those having a negative image make up 13%, while 28% have no impression.
• Turkish Cypriots generally have a more positive image of the EU than the EU25 average.
Like most of the EU citizens, 72% of Turkish Cypriots generally think the biggest countries have the most power in the EU:
• 47% are convinced that that the voice of the northern part of Cyprus does not count in the EU. However, 54% think that in the future the northern part of Cyprus will become more influential in the EU.
• 44% believe that their voice counts in the EU, while 42% believe that it does not.
Most Turkish Cypriots (58%) believe that in five years’ time the EU will play a more important role in their lives:
• A slightly lower percentage of the population (52%) would like to see the EU play a more important role in five years’ time.
Most Turkish Cypriots believe that the EU plays a positive role in certain areas of international concern:
• The opinion that the EU contributes positively to the growth of the world economy, to peace in the world and to the protection of the environment is shared by 63% (higher than the EU25 average of 49%), 58% (close to the 61% of the EU25), and 57% (close to the 58% of the EU25) respectively.
• 55%, as opposed to the 45% in EU25, believe that the EU plays a positive role in the fight against poverty. As regards the fight against terrorism, 51% think of the EU as playing a positive role (lower than the 59% of EU25).
5. European integration
There are some fears among Turkish Cypriots concerning how Europe is developing:
• For 51%, a possible increase in drug trafficking and international organised crime is the most important concern.
• Concerns about the disappearance of their language and the loss of national currency (Turkish Lira) also come high on Turkish Cypriots' list (46% and 44% respectively).
• However, people are on the whole less concerned about the possible effects of the construction of Europe than the citizens in EU25.
For most, fighting unemployment should be the first priority of the EU: • The top three EU priorities should be fighting unemployment (46%), fighting poverty and social exclusion (32%) and welcoming new Member States (32%).
Most Turkish Cypriots are in favour of further European integration: • There is 66% support for a European Monetary Union with one single currency, the euro, and 63% support further EU enlargement to include other countries in future years.
• 70% are in favour of teaching school children about the way EU institutions work.
• Most agree that the EU should have a Common Foreign and Security Policy (55%) as well as a Common Security and Defence Policy (66%).
• Two out of three favour the EU Constitution and three out of five agree with the fact that the European Commission should be composed of Commissioners from each of the Member States.
• A big majority (between 63% to 85%) agrees with all the ideas put to them on how much further the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy and the European Security and Defence Policy should be developed.
• On the question of who should take the decisions concerning the Europe's Defence Policy, most (46%) say it should be the EU while 28% believe such decisions should be taken by national governments.
6. Socio-demographic trends
• Among Turkish Cypriots, men tend to be better informed on EU-related issues than women. As regards trust in EU institutions and recognition of their importance, there is no noticeable difference between men and women.
• In terms of familiarity with the EU institutions and importance of their role, the higher age groups, particularly the 40-54 age group, tend to score better. There is no noticeable difference among the age groups when it comes to trust in the EU.
• Turkish Cypriots living in rural areas have less familiarity with the EU institutions than those in towns, and similarly less trust in them.
• Those with higher levels of education tend to be more aware of and more informed about EU institutions, and generally more positive towards the EU.
• The 55+ age group generally tends to hold more conservative opinions on most EU issues than the other age groups.