Citizens call for a bigger EU budget to tackle crisis
In the second round of Parliament’s special survey delving into European citizens’ attitudes and opinions over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, first results show clearly that a majority of European citizens (56 %) want the EU to have more financial means to overcome the impact of the pandemic. Public health tops the priority list, with economic recovery and climate change.
The survey was conducted by Kantar in the second half of June 2020. Findings reveal more than three quarters of Europeans on average have heard about the measures taken by the EU against COVID-19 - and a rising number of respondents is now satisfied with these measures. At the same time, a majority is nevertheless still not satisfied with the solidarity shown between EU Member States during the crisis.
Widespread awareness about EU actions against COVID-19 - and satisfaction is growing
Three out of four European citizens (76%) have heard about the various EU measures proposed to fight the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. 36% of respondents, an increase of three points compared to the first survey of this kind in April, also know what these measures are. Of those who have heard about the EU measures against COVID-19, 49% are satisfied with them. A clear increase of almost 7 points on average (compared to 42% in April) confirms the growing public support for the proposed measures, many of which have still to be implemented.
Majority still not satisfied with solidarity between EU Member States
While just over half of respondents across the EU (53%) are not satisfied with the solidarity shown between EU Member States during the pandemic, 39% of EU citizens on average say that they are satisfied. This is an average increase of 5 points since April 2020.
The EU should improve common tools to face crises such as Covid-19
Around two-thirds of respondents (68%) agree ‘the EU should have more competences to deal with crises such as the Coronavirus pandemic’, backed by an absolute majority in 26 Member States.
An absolute majority of Europeans support a larger EU budget to fight COVID-19
56% of Europeans believe the EU should have greater financial means to be able to overcome the consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Asked about the policy fields where this enlarged EU budget should be spent, public health tops the priority list for European citizens. 55% of respondents find spending on public health as most important, coming first in 17 EU Member States. Following this top priority, economic recovery and new opportunities for businesses (45%), employment and social affairs (37%) as well as the fight against climate change (36%) follow suit.
Personal financial difficulties remain significant
A clear indicator for the importance of making the necessary decisions for the Recovery Package as soon as possible is the worrying personal financial situation of European citizens since the beginning of the pandemic: Nearly unchanged since April, 57% of respondents say that they have experienced personal financial difficulties.
Less uncertainty and fear, hope and confidence are on the rise
A significant development can also be seen in respondents’ feeling in the crisis, with citizens from 15 EU Member States choosing ‘hope’ (41% overall) to best describe their current emotional status.