Romanians, 67 percent in favour of European parties’ nominating candidates for EC Presidency

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Romanians are widely confident that the amendments proposed by the European Commission (EC), namely the European parties’ proposing candidates for the EC Presidency and the national groups’ providing additional data concerning their political affiliation to the European parties, could generate a higher turnout in the elections of 2014, shows an Eurobarometer survey released in Brussels on Tuesday.

Moreover, the survey reveals that a share of 59 percent of Romanians are not aware of their rights as European citizens.

A share of 95 percent of Romanians in November 2012 declared that they were familiar with the term of European citizen, 3 percent more than the share registered in the previous Eurobarometer on this topic, of March 2010.

When asked on the awareness degree on their rights resulting from the EU citizenship, 40 percent of the Romanian respondents said they were ‘completely informed,’ 3 percentage points less than in March 2010 and 4 percent above the EU average. A share of 50 percent of Romanians are unaware of their rights as European citizens, 4 percent more compared with the survey two years ago.

According to the Eurobarometer, a share of 94 percent of Romanians are aware of being both citizens of their own country and EU citizens, 63 percent are aware of their not being able to give up this status, and 66 percent are aware that this citizenship is not granted upon request.

When asked if they agreed with the statement that the free movement of persons inside the EU brought general benefits to their national economy, a share of 88 of Romanians answered affirmatively, as against 67 percent on average in the EU, and 10 percent answered negatively.

Romanians are also widely aware of the electoral rights in the EU. Thus, 82 percent of Romanians know that an EU state citizen living in Romania has the right to vote or run in the European elections and 77 percent say they are also aware of their right to vote or run in the local elections.

On the other hand, 77 percent of Romanians erroneously believe that a citizen of an EU state, with the domicile in Romania, has the right to vote or run in the elections for the national parliament.

A share of 68 percent of the Romanian citizens believe that the citizens of another EU member state should not obtain the right to vote in the national elections in the state of residence, but 71 percent opine that they could vote in the country of residence in the case of regional elections.

In the case of European elections, only 29 percent of the respondents maintain they would want to vote for the candidates of the state of residence, while 66 percent prefer to vote for the candidates from the country of origin.

Four out of five Romanians believe that the turnout in the European elections would increase if more information was provided, same as in the case of providing additional data on the EU impact on everyday life (82 percent) or on the objectives and programmes of the parties in the EP (81 percent).

If the national political parties displayed in all their election materials their affiliation to European groups, the turnout in the European elections would increase, believe 70 percent of Romanians, same as in case in which these elections were conducted in one single day (58 percent). If the European political parties proposed candidates for the EC Presidency, a share of 67 percent of Romanians believe the voter turnout would enhance, in the conditions in which the EU average stands at 62 percent.

A share of 49 percent of Romanians believe the voter turnout in the European elections would be higher if the national lists included citizens of other EU states, while 44 percent believe the opposite. At the same time, half of the respondents say such a strategy on drawing up the lists would also increase the turnout in the local elections.

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