Martin Selmayr, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Austria, and Paul Schmidt, Secretary General of the Austrian Society for European Politics (ÖGfE) are currently on the “EU Future Tour” in Austria. The opinion polls carried out in Salzburg show that the people in the state are very interested in European political events and may also be open to the EU future debate, i.e. the European Commission in Austria in a broadcast.
Almost three quarters of the people of Salzburg are interested in “processes and events in the European Union and European politics”, of which 21 percent are “very” and 53 percent are “somewhat”. The older you are and the higher your level of education, the greater your interest in political events in the EU. The interest in men is slightly higher than in women.
Salzburg residents want to take part in a debate
Three out of ten after (31 percent) state in May 2021 that they “definitely” want to participate in the May 2021, and agree with the statement on the future that there are “many more debates with citizens about the direction Europe should give ”. Another 50 percent answer that they could at least imagine participating in the future debate.
“Climate and environmental protection” (64 “high priority”), “containment of the corona pandemic and its consequences” (63 percent) are the top priorities for the people in Salzburg who were interviewed for the EU in the future. Some distance behind is the “narrowing of the gap between rich and poor” (54 percent) and a “common EU asylum and migration policy” (46 percent).
many sees advantages in the EU
When it comes to the effects of EU membership on Salzburg, 45 percent of the pluses said that they mainly notice positive things in their own federal state, but 21 percent outweigh them. About a third (34 percent) said, “It makes no difference to Salzburg whether Austria is a member of the EU or not”.
“The figures make it clear that a broad and continuous dialogue as well as an open exchange on current European developments and Austria’s role in Europe is required. The potential and interest for this is actually there, ”emphasizes ÖGfE Secretary General Schmidt. “Europe doesn’t start in Brussels or Vienna, but in the municipality. Projects are implemented and political debates are held there. It is the local councils, the mayors and also the state government who enjoy particular credibility and a high level of trust in the region and who should play a stronger role when it comes to carrying concrete ideas and proposals for Europe and living European responsibility for the place . After Brexit and after the pandemic, the current EU debate on the future is an opportunity to deepen mutual understanding and cooperation between local, regional, national and European politics. This is the only way we can move Europe forward. “
The majority would like to act together
51 percent of the more are of the opinion that “joint action at European level” is necessary in order to cope with the challenges ahead. 39 percent would consider it more sensible that “EU member states more often decide for themselves” will die in the future.
In terms of what affects the personal future, dying has about half of the decisions. (51 percent) have the greatest trust in decision-makers at the regional level (also in the state government and state parliament), 17 on this question at the national level the preference (also percent) the federal government, the National Council and the Federal Council), 10 percent name the EU institutions (EU- Commission, EU Parliament, EU Council of Ministers). The strongest trust in the regional level is shown by men (60 percent), young people from Salzburg say the most often (20 percent) that they are most likely to trust the EU institutions.