From 1973, the Eurobarometer public opinion surveys have been conducted on behalf of the Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission twice a year to get a better basis for decisions and evaluations of its work. Every survey is composed of about one thousand personal interviews per member state of the European Commission.
We will write a custom Essay on History of Eurobarometer in 1973 specifically for you
301 certified writers online
The common questions that are usually asked in the surveys appertain to “the general climate of opinion like personal satisfaction or main concern of European citizens, the general opinion if the membership in EU is a good thing or not and if their own country benefits from it” (Kaiser, 12).
Current issues often dictate the formulation of the questionnaire so as to identify the changes and continuities in the public opinion over the time. Thus, with the changing times, the Eurobarometer should adopt the following new polling questions.
The first question: can the war of terrorism be ‘won’? Although the previous surveys have indicated that the European citizens want more efforts to be concentrated on combating terrorism, the public has not really given its opinion on whether winning the war on terror is still a possibility.
It is true that almost all the European countries are facing the threat due to terrorism. In spite of the supportive actions that have been taken by the EU member states, getting information on the ground will ensure that the EU formulates workable solutions of addressing this threat.
The current approach that the EU is using to combat terrorism has proved not to be very beneficial, as terrorists have always found a loophole of creating havoc in the member states. Thus, to prevent the continuation of this trend, the future Eurobarometer questions should seek the public opinion on whether winning the war on terror is still a possibility.
Perhaps, the response got from such a survey can make the policy makers to change radically the course of handling the modern terrorism threat. In the past, the EU has supported initiatives on the use of military force in combating terrorism. As such, the response from the new polling question will seek to find out if this way is still appropriate or not.
Maybe the survey can expose workable strategies such as reestablishing the moral authority and ideological appeal of the EU internationally, enacting focused and better diplomatic goals, and strengthening cooperation in sharing of sensitive security information among the member states and other countries of the world.
Therefore, the adoption of the new question in the Eurobarometer will make the policy makers to think on whether the current strategies to obliterate terrorism are appropriate or not.
Second, the Eurobarometer should include a question on the role on the EU in the current Middle East crisis. Since the creation of the nation of Israel on May 14, 1948, the Middle East region has never enjoyed the blessings of peace. The efforts that have been put by various world leaders to ease the tension between the Jews and the Arabs have not bore much fruits.
Thus, as a major world economy, the EU should continue to play a notable role in this crisis. Consequently, the adoption of a question in the Eurobarometer survey that would define the role of the EU in this conflict is of importance. And, the results of such a survey will enable the EU to have a definite role in how to handle the crisis.
More so, the recent events in Egypt that led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak should oblige the EU to look for public opinion on how it can deal with the politics of the Middle East region. Other countries in the Middle East, such as Yemen, have been reported to be following the example of the Egyptians. These recent events should crystallize to the EU the volatile situation in the Middle East.
Considerably, when the Middle East region is in chaos, the EU should not take a safe distance. It is within the interests of both the EU and the Middle East for the EU to play a significant role in the affairs of the region so as to prevent the potential of the violent escalation of conflict. As a result, seeking the public opinion on this is imperative.
Lastly, the Eurobarometer ought to adopt a question on whether to increase the legal drinking age in Europe. In most European countries, the legal drinking age is mostly eighteen years. However, alcohol statistics in Europe have indicated that most young people are abusing alcohol.
Get your first paper with 15% OFF
And, this problem has led to numerous alcohol related problems among the teens. Is the answer found in increasing the legal drinking age to twenty-one years? Well, the opinion of the public should be sought by incorporating this question in the Eurobarometer surveys.
Teen drinking is a problem that has affected the European community for a long time. It seems that this problem has been compounded by the fact that the drinking age is low. The European community does not care to instruct the young people on limits and responsibilities. Thus, to reduce the problem of drinking alcohol, the legal drinking age should be raised to twenty-one in all the member states.
Perhaps, this will make the teenagers to be aware of their limits and responsibilities concerning the consumption of alcoholic beverages. However, adopting this initiative would depend on the outcome of the Eurobarometer survey, if such a question were adopted.
Increasing the drinking age will inevitably reduce the rate of irresponsible drinking, enforce safe drinking habits and impose gradual drinking behavior among the teens. It is worth noticing that the European Union has a big problem in excessive consumption of alcohol. The only way to find a lasting solution to this problem is by stopping to ignore it and enacting appropriate laws of addressing the problem.
The current legal age in most European countries lacks any real basis and only serves to propel the problem. A higher drinking age will make the region to come to reality and establish better ways of curbing the vice. To this end, the answer lies in the opinion of the public.
In conclusion, it is evident that adopting the above new polling questions will make the European Commission to get important reports on the fundamental issues facing the region and institute appropriate strategies of addressing them for the benefit of the member states.
It is important to note that the new questions tend to focus on emerging issues facing the European Union during this decade and their incorporation into the survey will inevitably improve the quality of life for the European Union citizens.
Kaiser, Urban. The Baltic States as Members of the European Union – An Analysis of the public opinion to EU membership in the Baltic Region. Norderstedt: GRIN Verlag, 2005. Print.