In both European and international politics, 2016 was a memorable year, and this was reflected in over 87 000 questions put by citizens to the President of the European Parliament or to its Citizens Enquiries Unit/Ask EP unit.
Top topics: Poland, EU-Canada Free Trade Agreement and Migration
The most pressing issue for citizens in 2016 was how the EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights is enforced.
Among the trending topics during 2016 was the EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA) negotiations – on which the European Parliament is set to vote in 2017. The EU-USA trade agreement (TTIP) also figured highly.
Citizens turned to the European Parliament for answers on migration, and how migration issues are handled at the EU level and in the Member States, not least regarding the consequences of the ongoing civil war in Syria.
Other topics of concern for citizens include foie gras production, the renewal of EU market approval for the glyphosate herbicide, protection of whistle-blowers, animal testing, the EU-West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
EU action to counter terrorism and terrorist threats, following the terrorist attacks in Paris and elsewhere in European was a clear concern of citizens addressing the European Parliament.
Another top issue was the United Kingdom referendum on EU membership in June, which generated a high number of messages, both before and after the vote of the British people, often linked to questions about the state and future of the European Union and the rights of British citizens after the UK exits the European Union.
In view of the EU-Turkey agreement on migration, citizens also wrote to express their opinions on the political situation in Turkey, and on EU-Turkey relations more broadly.
How does the European Parliament work?
The Ask EP service provides information on the activities, powers and organisation of the European Parliament. This year, a large number of questions have been asked and answered on how to obtain promotional material, rules on visiting the European Parliament, how to petition the European Parliament, the activities of the political groups, or how to get job in the EU institutions.
Do continue to put your questions to our services, we reply in the EU language in which the citizen has written to us.
Do you have any questions on this issue or another EP-related concern? Please use our web form. You write, we answer.