Europeans and the crisis III 

This Eurobarometer survey on "Europeans and the crisis" is the third such survey realised by the European Parliament.

The first one was carried out in January-February 2009, six months before the European elections, while the second was conducted in September 2010. The fieldwork for this survey was carried out by TNS opinion between 13 April and 2 May 2011 on the basis of face-to-face interviews with 26 825 European citizens.

In the seven months since the previous survey, the national and international context has been marked by several major events which have undoubtedly played an important role in shaping the answers of Europeans to the questions posed.

In-between, public opinion at EU level has moved only marginally, whereas there were major shifts between the first and second surveys (January - August 2010). It should be borne in mind that the six most populous Member States account for approximately 70% of the EU 27 average.

Before analysing the results of this survey in detail, it is worth highlighting the main findings:

  • Europeans are strongly in favour of the principle of a tax on financial transactions at global level, or failing that at EU level initially.
  • A majority of Europeans believe that overall the euro has not mitigated the effects of the crisis.
  • To combat the crisis, a majority of Europeans above all want the Member States to act in a more coordinated way.
  • In the debate on whether to boost the economy or reduce public spending, we note that the economic situation of the Member States has a direct impact on answers. In seven months, they have sometimes varied by between 10 and 38 points.
  • Tackling exclusion and poverty is still the first political priority of Europeans, although there have been very significant variations in several Member States between the two surveys.
  • Food security: helping agriculture in developing countries seems to be the most effective measure to the respondents, followed by combating speculation on food products. In terms of objectives, Europeans strongly support several measures of which ensuring that everyone has access to food products at affordable prices and also that farmers have a fair income.