65% of people surveyed couldn’t name a single MEP

65% of people surveyed couldn’t name a single MEP

65% of people surveyed couldn’t name a single MEP

Fine Gael Ireland South European Candidate, Deirdre Clune, has highlighted the need to make the European Parliament more relevant to ordinary people and to raise awareness of decisions made in the European Parliament affect people’s daily lives. This follows the completion of a survey commissioned by Deirdre Clune in Cork city which found that 65% of people surveyed on the street couldn’t name any MEP.
“Out of a sample size of just over 100 people surveyed on the streets of Cork yesterday - only 35% could name an MEP. Of those, 24% could name one MEP, 5% could name two, 3% could name three. No one surveyed could name 4 or more Irish MEPS. Only 8% of 18-35 year olds could name a single Irish MEP.
“This shows the complete disconnect between the European Parliament and the people who elect them, just three weeks before one of the most important European elections that we are likely to face. People have their own worries and problems in their lives. They have become disillusioned in and disenfranchised from the European Parliament. The challenge now for the European Parliament is to make it relevant to the people who elect the MEPs. Europe matters.  I am trying to get that message out there. What happens in Europe affects our everyday lives. It is a parliament representing 500 million people across 28 countries and its influence is growing.
“CAP negotiations, fisheries and economic negotiations can have massive impacts on the day to day lives of those working and living throughout Ireland South. For example, our corporation tax rate is something we have to defend at all costs. This will call for strong Irish representation in the European Parliament to counter act the demands of other competing countries. Any change to our corporation rate will cost Ireland jobs and a drop in foreign direct investment. We need strong voices to shape the future of Europe but also to carve out economic prosperity for Ireland within a growing European Union.
“One of the points that I am keen to push is that Europe matters in our everyday lives. I will do everything in my power, if elected, to bridge the gap between the MEP and the electorate. MEPs need to engage the people more on issues that really affect their lives. The challenge for the parliament and thus the Irish MEPs is to show that what happens in Europe matters and can have massive impacts on the lives of people living in Ireland.
“I would hope that in five years, if we were to repeat this survey, that more MEPs have engaged with the electorate and brought the workings of the European Parliament into the lives of its constituents and made it relevant again.”

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