Campaign aims to find out views of French on EU

A nationwide campaign is under way to find out what the French think of the EU

Published Last updated

The ‘door-to-door’ exercise, called La grande marche pour l’Europe, is being carried out by volunteers for the government party La République en Marche! and runs until mid-May. It is aimed at complimenting President Macron’s efforts on the European stage.

Anyone interested can take part by joining door-to-door campaigns on designated days or by downloading a smartphone app to ask set questions of neighbours at their convenience. LREM hopes for at least 100,000 surveys, similar to a grande marche two years ago, when the En Marche! movement canvassed people’s ideas about changes they wanted in France.

It comes as the EU’s latest ‘Eurobarometer’ poll found only 33% of French are ‘pretty confident’ in the EU and 27% think France would do better outside. The French said they see the EU as ‘modern and fairly democratic’ but ‘not protective enough and lacking efficiency’; only 63% said they felt like European citizens.

The head of LREM in the Alpes-Maritimes department, Enis Sliti, said: “We make no bones about our attachment to the European project, as opposed to parties which have an ambiguous attitude towards it. Because whether it’s the economy, security, immigration, the environment, digital technologies... we think Europe can provide part of the solution to meet people’s expectations.

“Unlike Brexit, the point of la grande marche pour l’Europe isn’t to launch a ‘yes or no’ debate, especially as Brexit has caused an uncertain situation for the UK. “We want to reform the European project, by the French people and with the French people, through a democratic debate about the fundamentals. The question we’re asking is: what works today with Europe and what doesn’t?

“Citizens have the impression that there is a distance between Europe and themselves and that it doesn’t have an impact on their daily lives. So we will be going to listen to people all over France, whatever their views, without judgment. We will try to understand, without trying to convince them. We will ask precise questions and open ones which allow people to express themselves. This will be a starting point for our plan for European reform.”

Anyone wishing to take part should contact a local branch of LREM (see