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What local politicians think about the future of Europe?

Between 21 July and 9 Septem ber 2021, the first-ever survey among the more than one million politicians elected at subnational level in the 27 EU Member St at es was carried out on behalf of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) in the format of a Special Target Group ?Eurobarom et er Flash? sur vey. Implemented by Ipsos European Public Affairs, the online survey reached out to locally elected politicians across the EU and was inspired by the momentum creat ed by the Conference on the Future of Europe. Local politicians were asked, for exam ple, about their awareness of and engagem ent in the Conference as well as about the importance they attach to the nine priority themes of the Conference.

For the sur vey, contact details of 20.000 local politicians were collected with the aim of achieving, to the extent feasible, a representative sam ple of locally elected politicians in each EU Member St at e taking into account

t he level of governm ent (regional, provincial, local, m unicipal or other);

t he polit ical part y affiliat ion;

geography, including urban versus rural.

It needs to be highlighted that at the EU level neither central nor harm onised registries of elected politicians or election results exist for any level of governm ent. To inform the sam pling, desk research was carried out for which data were retrieved from various sources including national and regional election offices, statistical offices, European, national and regional associations and authorities, and academ ic institutes. Research confirmed that there are more than 1.17 million elected politicians in EU27, most with a mandate in the alm ost 90.000 m unicipalities (1.14 million), followed by 38.000 politicians elected at the level of 1.355 provinces, counties, districts, départements etc. (, and 9.700 politicians elected at the level of 198 regions.

Almost 3 300 questionnaires have been filled in and the final report, 27 national factsheets, and data will be public. Local politicians replied to questions on t he role of regions, cit ies and villages in EU policy-m aking and the future of Europe ? and what topics and activities they consider most relevant in this respect;

how to im prove European dem ocracy and to get the EU closer to the citizens;

t heir aw areness of and engagem ent in the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Th ese findings vary significantly not only between countries and different levels of governm ent, but also within countries and between politicians from different parties, and by age and gender.

In summary, it can be concluded that still too little is known about a level of governm ent, that is supposed to play an important role in implementing and possibly also designing EU policies and that is obviously interested in becoming more involved in EU affairs in the future.

" Alm ost 3 300 quest ionnaires have been f illed in and t he f inal repor t , 27 nat ional f act sheet s, and dat aw ill be public. "

The results of the survey and all related data will be available online as of 12 Oct ober 2021. Moreover, a technical briefing will be offered online on 15 October, 12:15-13:15, details of which can be found on the CoR website under "event s".

This article appears in the EURegionsWeek 2021 Issue of TerritoriALL

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This article appears in the EURegionsWeek 2021 Issue of TerritoriALL
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