Every week, surveys from all across the EU tell us what Europeans are thinking, feeling and talking about. In our segment, eupinions echo, we collect these voices and play them back to you. Each week, we highlight one survey of particular interest in a short blogpost and share daily new survey results via our website and our twitter channel.
During the past months, we have written a fair bit about the varying perceptions of COVID-19 and its consequences across the continent. One thing became apparent very quickly: there is a large variety of sentiments and reactions towards the pandemic across different EU member states. In Italy, for example, worries shifted over time from immediate health-related consequences of the virus to the long-term economic impact of the pandemic, whereas in Sweden less and less people continued to be worried about the virus at all.
In France, we observed that people generally take the virus very seriously. The French were the least likely to be turned off by stricter corona regulations when travelling to other countries, manifested an absolute majority of citizens in favour of mandatory mask-wearing in outdoor public spaces and 63% of the population even spoke out in favour of temporary border closures within the EU to avoid a second wave of infections.
Having said that, a new survey conducted by ifop in mid-August of this year, sheds a new light on how French citizens view the ongoing crisis and, in particular, on how their sentiments have changed over time. Respondents were first asked to what degree they worried about various aspects of the crisis. In total, 87% of respondents were either somewhat or very worried about the economic consequences of the corona pandemic, while 73% were worried about possible health effects to themselves or their families.