Flash Eurobarometer: Citizens engaged in participatory democracy

Flash Eurobarometer: Citizens engaged in participatory democracy

The report examines the extent to which European citizens engage in participatory democracy, and the extent to which they believe that political decision-making can be influenced through their own actions and through those of non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

It shows that Europeans trust civil society organisations to influence policies and make a difference in the life of their communities. However, civil society organisations are regarded as more likely to influence decision-making at local and national level (75% and 70% respectively) than at the level of the EU (53%).


Key findings (average of EU 27 figures vary from country to country)

– A majority (59%) of people think non-governmental organisations share their interests and values.

– A majority of respondents (54%) think that voting in EU elections or joining an NGO can influence political decision-making and even more respondents (70%) think that voting in local or national elections is an effective way to influence political decisions

– As far as 15-24 year-old are concerned, 63% of them see voting in European elections as an effective means of influencing political decisions and 75% of them see national voting as a means of influencing political decisions.

– A third (34%) of respondents say that they have signed a petition in the last two years.

– 24% expressed their views on public issues to an elected representative at local/regional level, 10% at national level and 4% at EU level.

– Younger respondents are more likely to use the Internet or social media: 42% of 15-24 year-olds did so during the past two years.


The report will be officially presented today by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) during the Civil Society Day 2013 [ http://www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.events-and-activities-civil-society-day-2013-webstream ]conference.

The survey was commissioned by the European Commission in response to a request from the EESC and was carried out in the 27 Member States of the European Union between 14 February and 16 February 2013.



Flash Eurobarometer: Citizens engaged in participatory democracy