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15% of Belgians say they will not vote in the European elections |  local

15% of Belgians say they will not vote in the European elections | local

If European Parliament elections are held next week, 15% of Belgians may not vote. This is clear today through the new European barometer.

The survey was conducted between the end of September and mid-October among more than 26,000 European Union citizens, including 1,011 Belgians. The survey was commissioned by the European Parliament, exactly six months before the European elections.

When asked how likely they were to vote if the elections were held next week (on a score of 1 to 10), 15% of Belgians answered that they probably would not (1 to 4). 72% will vote (7-10), and 12% will take a compromise position (5-6). 1% of citizens say that they do not know or are not allowed to vote. These numbers are close to the European average.

Civic duty

The fact that it is their civic duty is the reason why half of Belgians (51 percent) cast their vote. It is not surprising that this is well above the EU average of 36%, given that attendance is only compulsory in Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece and Luxembourg. The fact that they want to support a particular political party (34 percent), are used to voting, want things to change, or express their dissatisfaction (25 percent each) are also often cited as reasons for voting.

According to the Belgians, the European Parliament should give priority attention to the fight against poverty (40 percent), public health (36 percent) and climate change (35 percent). 79% of citizens also believe that Belgium benefits from its membership in the European Union.

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“The vast majority of Europeans believe that EU measures have had a positive impact on their lives,” European Parliament President Roberta Mizzola said of the poll. “But our democracy can never be taken for granted. We must protect and preserve it by casting our votes. Every vote counts in the European elections next June.”