In the survey conducted in early October 2020, about eight out of ten participants (77%) across the EU support the concept that the Union should make the allocation of funds conditional on the implementation of the principles of the rule of law and democracy by the national government. At least seven out of ten participants agree with this statement in 26 EU Member States.
An absolute majority of Europeans continue to call for a larger EU budget to combat Covid-19: 54% of Europeans believe the Union should have more financial means to overcome the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. In 20 EU Member States, most participants agree with this statement; In 14 EU Member States, an absolute majority of participants support a larger EU budget.
Asked about the areas where this enlarged EU budget should be spent, more than half of the participants (54%) said that public health should be a priority, followed by economic recovery and new opportunities for businesses (42%), changes climate change and environmental protection (37%) and employment and social affairs (35%). At EU level, climate change and the environment have replaced employment in the top three spending priorities, compared to the last survey conducted in June 2020.
Public health is the top priority for respondents in 18 countries. Estonia, Latvia and the Czech Republic placed the economic recovery at the top of the rankings, while in Austria, Denmark and Germany, citizens put the fight against climate change first. In Croatia, Slovakia and Finland, the main priority chosen by the participants is employment and social affairs.
Making the necessary decisions for the recovery package and the MFF as soon as possible is vital, as evidenced by the worrying personal financial situation of European citizens since the beginning of the pandemic: a large majority of citizens fear that the pandemic will have a direct impact on their financial situation personal needs – or have already suffered for this reason: 39% of participants say that the Covid-19 crisis has already had an impact on their personal income, while 27% expect such an impact in the future. Only 27% of participants expect the Covid-19 situation not to have an impact on their personal income. In 20 countries, most participants say the current crisis has already had an impact on their personal income.
Two-thirds of participants (66%) agree that the EU should have more powers to deal with crises such as the coronavirus pandemic. Only a quarter (25%) disagree with this statement. These findings are in line with the results of previous European Parliament polls in April and June 2020, respectively.
The publication of the full report for this survey, including the full data set, is scheduled for early November 2020.