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European Parliament Elections 2019

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  • European
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It is difficult to acknowledge you don't know something. A few months ago, several thousand Europeans were asked hundreds of questions for the Eurobarometer poll. One of those questions was: "Do you agree with the statement: 'I understand how the EU works'." Only 10 percent totally disagreed with that statement. Another 29 percent "tended to disagree". Peculiarly, three percent said they did not know whether to agree or disagree.

Turnout by country 100%

Turnout by country 100% BELGIUM 100% DENMARK 100% GERMANY 100% IRELAND 80% 80% 80% 80% 60% 60% 60% 60% 40% 40% 40% 40% 20% 20% 20% 20% 0% 0% 0% 0% YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 100% FRANCE 100% ITALY 100% LUXEMBOURG 100% NETHERLANDS 80% 80% 80% 80% 60% 60% 60% 60% 40% 40% 40% 40% 20% 20% 20% 20% 0% 0% 0% 0% YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 100% UNITED KINGDOM 100% GREECE 100% SPAIN 100% PORTUGAL 80% 80% 80% 80% 60% 60% 60% 60% 40% 40% 40% 40% 20% 20% 20% 20% 0% 0% 0% 0% YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 100% SWEDEN 100% AUSTRIA 100% FINLAND 100% CZECH REPUBLIC 80% 80% 80% 80% 60% 60% 60% 60% 40% 40% 40% 40% 20% 20% 20% 20% 0% YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 0% YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 0% YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 0% YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 100% ESTONIA 100% CYPRUS 100% LITHUANIA 100% LATVIA 80% 80% 80% 80% 60% 60% 60% 60% 40% 40% 40% 40% 20% 20% 20% 20% 0% 0% 0% 0% YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 100% HUNGARY 100% MALTA 100% POLAND 100% SLOVENIA 80% 80% 80% 80% 60% 60% 60% 60% 40% 40% 40% 40% 20% 20% 20% 20% 0% 0% 0% 0% YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 100% SLOVAKIA 100% BULGARIA 100% ROMANIA 100% CROATIA 80% 80% 80% 80% 60% 60% 60% 60% 40% 40% 40% 40% 20% 20% 20% 20% 0% YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 0% YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 0% YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14 0% YEAR 79 81 84 87 89 94 95 96 99 04 07 09 13 14

EU commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, seen here as MEP in 1989, second from the right. Canete still draws a parliament pension, while working as a commissioner Photo: European Parliament The murky perks of an MEP Accountability and transparency are in short supply when it comes to how MEPs spend €40m every year on "office supplies". Efforts to pry open this secrecy have been met with strong resistance from many of the parliament's most powerful MEPs. By Nikolaj Nielsen MEPs in the European Parliament are entitled to generous perks on top of their monthly salaries of over €8,000. But weak oversight, and the lack of a proper paper trail on these 'expenses', may have helped generate some of the backlash against an EU institution which already often struggles to connect with the public. Yet the voting records at committee level since those manifestos were published point to a concerted effort to maintain a culture of secrecy at the European parliament - a position largely pushed by the EPP. The EPP in January even imposed a secret ballot of MEPs on pro-transparency measures regarding lobbying. They lost. Turnout at the elections went from a high of 62 percent in 1979 to only 42 percent in 2014, official figures show. Sensing this voter antipathy, even antagonism, recent manifestos from the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) and the liberal Alde groups have all demanded greater transparency in the EU institutions. Internal deliberations among political party presidents and vice-presidents had also overruled wide support by MEPs for greater transparency on how they spend taxpayers' money on themselves. Among those seeking to keep a lid on it all is German centre-right MEP and vice-president Rainer Wieland. 21 — EUROPEAN PARLIAMANT ELECTIONS 2019

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