Europeans insist EU funds be linked to respect for Rule of Law 

In the third round of Parliament’s special survey delving into European citizens’ attitudes and opinions over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, results show that citizens across the EU fully support a clear conditionality of EU funds to the respect of the rule of law and democratic values. They survey confirms citizens’ call for EU to have more powers to tackle pandemic. In addition to the unbroken public support for a larger EU budget to overcome the consequences of the pandemic, more than half of respondents say that public health should be a spending priority, followed by economic recovery and climate change.

The survey was conducted by Kantar at the beginning of October 2020.

Key findings:

77% of Europeans insist EU funds be linked to respect for Rule of Law: Nearly eight out of ten respondents (77%) across the EU support the concept that the EU should only provide funds to Member States conditional upon the national government's implementation of the rule of law and of democratic principles.

Citizens continue to see the EU as part of the solution in this crisis: Two-thirds of respondents (66%) agree that the EU should have more competences to deal with crises such as the Coronavirus pandemic. Only a quarter (25%) disagrees with this statement. These findings are consistent with the results from both previous surveys conducted by the European Parliament in April and June 2020 respectively.

An absolute majority of Europeans continues to call for a larger EU budget to fight COVID-19: 54% of Europeans believe the EU should have greater financial means to be able to overcome the consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic.

More than half of respondents (54%) say that public health should be a spending priority for the EU budget, followed by economic recovery and new opportunities for businesses (42%), climate change and environmental protection (37%) and employment and social affairs (35%).

Public health is the top spending priority for respondents in 18 countries.

Broad majority of citizens fear direct impact on their personal financial situation – or have already suffered it: 39% of respondents say that the Covid-19 crisis has already impacted their personal income, while a further 27% expect such an impact in the future.