European citizens are calling for more EU competence, funds and far-reaching actions to address the challenges of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, according to the latest survey released by the European Parliament.
Compared to the first poll in April/May, attitudes towards the EU appear to more positive. At the same time, more than half of those surveyed in Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Romania and Bulgaria said the pandemic has already impacted their personal income.
The results of the third European parliament survey and amid a recurrence of the pandemic found that:
– half (50 percent) of Europeans feel ‘uncertainty’ as the economic impact of the pandemic takes its toll
– two thirds of respondents (66 percent) agreed that the EU should have more competences to deal with the pandemic
– more than half (54 percent) believe the EU should have greater financial means to tackle the repercussions of the coronavirus health crisis
– 77 percent of respondents agree that the EU should only provide funds to member states conditional upon their government’s implementation of the rule of law and of democratic principles
– 42 percent said public health should be the key spending priority, followed by economic recovery and new opportunities for businesses; others include climate change and environmental protection (37 percent) as well as employment and social affairs (35 percent)
– 41 percent of respondents held a positive image of the EU this time around compared to 31 percent in April 2020 with the majority still dissatisfied with the solidarity, or lack thereof, between EU members
– nearly half of those polled (49 percent) said they are satisfied with the measures their government has taken so far against the coronavirus
– more than a third (39 percent) said the pandemic has already impacted their personal income with 27 percent expecting such an impact on their finances in the future
– young people and families with children appear to be hit worst by the crisis: 64 percent of citizens between 16 and 34 years have experienced some form of financial difficulties, 27 percent of respondents with children have used their personal savings sooner than planned.
The current survey, conducted online among 24,812 participants in all 27 EU member states from September 25 to October 7 is the third commissioned by the European Parliament measuring public opinion during the pandemic.