Spring 2021 survey 

Resilience and recovery: Public opinion one year into the pandemic

A Special Eurobarometer survey conducted for the European Parliament between March and April 2021 shows the increasingly felt impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on citizens’ personal lives and financial situation. As eight out of ten respondents are aware of the Union’s actions to tackle the pandemic, public health, the fight against poverty and to restart the economy move to the top of citizens’ priorities for the European Parliament. Overall, the EP Spring Eurobarometer confirms the robust support for the European Union throughout the pandemic - as well as the established broad consensus that global challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic are best tackled at the EU level.

Key findings:

  • At the end of the first quarter of 2021, thirty-one percent of Europeans have already seen their personal financial situation affected negatively during the pandemic. A further 26% expect this still to happen.
  • Despite this impact, a majority of respondents (58%) believe that the health benefits of restriction measures in their country outweigh the economic damage they might have caused.
  • Europeans are very well aware of the European Union’s efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic: eight in ten Europeans have heard, seen or read about such actions - and nearly half of all citizens (48%) know what these measures are.
  • Despite short-term fluctuations and national variations, overall positive ratings for the EU’s image remain at one of their highest levels in over a decade. On EU average, nearly every second citizen (48%) has a positive image of the EU.
  • Seventy-four percent of Europeans want the EU to gain more competences to deal with crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic, including 28% who ‘totally agree’.
  • Asked concretely about their expectations for the European Parliament, citizens want their elected Members to put public health front and centre (49%). This is followed by the fight against poverty and social exclusion (39%), measures to support the economy and create new jobs (39%) as well as action against climate change (34%).