Information, audiovisual and cultural policies in the EU
- The information deficit of the Union
- The audiovisual Policy of the EU
- Cultural policy of the EU
- Appraisal and outlook of EU's information and cultural policies
- Bibliography on EU information, audiovisual and cultural policies
The point was made in the previous chapter that the citizens are silent, but indispensable, actors in the construction of Europe. The EC/EU could not have been built by the political elite, without the implicit consent of the citizens involved in the process. In fact, European citizens are generally in favour and consider as evident the fundamental principles and ideals the Union stands for, notably peace among their previously antagonistic nations, respect for human rights and the rule of law, economic development and social protection. The public opinion survey known as "Eurobarometer", which is conducted each spring and autumn under the auspices of the Commission, shows that, at the end of 2009, the EU citizens (from the 27 Member States) were largely convinced that EU membership was a "good" rather than a "bad thing" (53% vs. 15%). In spite of the financial and economic crisis, 57% of European citizens interviewed considered that their country had on balance benefited from being a member of the European Union, versus 31% who believed the opposite. 48% (almost half) of the citizens had a positive image of the EU, compared to 15% who had a bad image. 60% of the citizens of the 27 Member States - and 67% of those living in the euro area - supported the single currency. Three-quarters of Europeans considered that the European Union was essential for meeting global challenges (such as climate change and terrorism) and only 16% disagreed. 50% of the respondents had confidence in the European Parliament (vs. 33%) and 46% had confidence in the European Commission (vs. 32%). However, a vast majority of the citizens considered very important the transparent functioning of the institutions and almost half of them (48%) said that they did not understand how the EU works. For 46% of the Europeans the greatest advantage of the Union is freedom to travel, to study and to work anywhere inside it and for 37% it is the Euro. Next come peace, cultural diversity, a stronger say in the world and democracy.