Let’s talk about immigration first – Maltese respondents, Eurobarometer

European Union flags are seen outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Immigration should be a priority talking point in the European Parliamentary elections, Maltese respondents tell the Eurobarometer.

According to data gathered on Maltese public opinion, 72% of people said Immigration should be discussed more readily during the electoral campaigns.

This was higher than the EU average of 44% of respondents across the 27 EU member states.

Credit: Eurostat

The data was collected by the European monitoring service Eurobarometer which surveys the attitudes and perceptions of citizens across the European member states.  The latest survey was conducted between the end of February and the beginning of March this year and included 505 interviews with Maltese citizens, part of almost 27,000 Europe-wide interviews.

This concern about immigration was also much higher than requests for discussion on combating climate change and environmental protection (50%) and the promotion of human rights and democracy (40%).

Voting is a duty

According to the data, Maltese people feel that voting in the European elections is a duty as a citizen, more so than European citizens across the rest of the bloc.

Credit: Eurostat

The data shows that 53% of Maltese respondents are inclined to see voting as a duty, compared to 44% Europe-wide.

Larger proportions were also reflected in those who say voting in the elections as a way to ‘change things’ 27% compared to 23%, and to ‘support the national government’ 26% compared to 18% Europe-wide.

The Brexit question

Credit: Eurostat

With the UK set to withdraw from the EU, Eurobarometer also put forward the question to Maltese respondents of what they would vote if Malta was given a referendum on the EU.

Their responses were relatively close to those of the other EU 27 member states. While only 12% would to leave, (compared to 14% EU-wide), 68% said they would vote to stay (concurrent with the EU) while 20% were unsure what to vote (2% greater than the EU 27).