A recent eupinions survey conducted by Dalia Research for the Bertelsmann Stiftung * across the EU-28 examines public opinion of the quality of local infrastructure and economic opportunities in their communities. It found that 81% of EU Europeans think that their neighbourhood is generally a good place to live. Spaniards appeared the most content (85%) while Italians were the least so: 71%.
Breaking down these findings, the poll discovered that feelings about local infrastructure varied. A full 89% said they had access to a local grocery store, while 78% lived near a public park, 70% could easily get an appointment with a local doctor, 67% had access to a public school, and 65% agreed that public transportation is “good and affordable.” This satisfaction with infrastructure tends to decrease among the survey's rural participants. In terms of public transportation, for example, seven out of ten respondents in urban areas find public transport good and they say that they have affordable access to it; but in the countryside, less than five out of ten respondents (48%) in rural areas confirm this.
Most remarkable, according to the study’s authors from the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Programme Europe’s Future, is the negative outlook on economic opportunities for young people. Only 28% of Europeans agree that ”it is easy for young people to find a job in their area.“ This is particularly the case in Italy and Spain with France just marginally better. Germans and Poles topped the higher end of the results, feeling much more confident about economic prospects.
“Given that youth unemployment remains an important issue in several EU countries,“ the authors conclude, ”the fact that respondents to this survey judge economic opportunities for young people rather pessimistically raises a serious note of concern.“
*Several times a year, the eupinions team supports colleagues at the Bertelsmann Stiftung by collecting Europe-wide data that provides insight into public perception in their field and helps Europeanise their work.