eupinions echo 30 Nov, 2020

Examining the Results of the Latest Eurobarometer Report – Part 2

Europeans are split about the EU's corona response but optimistic about its future

eupinions echo Examining the Results of the Latest Eurobarometer Report – Part 2

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.


In part 1 of this blogpost we took a closer look at the many interesting findings that the recent publication of the Standard Eurobarometer 93 in October 2020 illustrated. We looked at Europeans’ sentiments towards European institutions, their feelings on the state of democracy in the EU, the degree to which people identified as EU citizens and the main concerns that drove Europeans in 2020. Today, we want further explore the Eurobarometer data and compare the report's findings with our own. So, without further ado, here are four more important Issues covered in the Standard Eurobarometer No. 93:


Europeans have a clear idea of a greener future for the EU

The Eurobarometer survey aims to gauge Europeans' sentiments towards various key European policy areas. On the issue of the planned European Green Deal, EU citizens have a clear opinion about which policy objectives should be a top priority for the European Union. 52% of respondents named the development of renewable energy as a top priority and nearly as many (49%) also mentioned the fight against plastic waste and the issue of single-use plastics.

Asked about their feelings on the Euro as a single currency for the European economic and monetary union, 67% of all EU citizens and 75% of those living in the Euro area supported the currency. While this marks a slight decline of support from Euro area countries, overall support actually jumped up 7 percentage points since 2019.

Ratings of national economies have taken a heavy hit since 2019

The Eurobarometer report goes on to ask its respondents about their assessment of their country's national economies. Unsurprisingly, in a year marked by one of the largest crises the EU had to face since its inception, a clear majority of 64% of all Europeans rate the economic situation in their countries as bad. While this does mark a 14 percentage points increase from the results of last year's report, it still falls below the levels of negative economic assessment observed during and after the 2008 financial crisis and the ensuing Euro crisis. 

Respondents were most optimistic about their country's economy in wealthy member states like Luxembourg and Denmark, where about 8 out of 10 citizens (83% and 82% respectively) rated the state of the economy as good. People tended to be the most pessimistic in prior economic crisis countries Spain, Italy and Greece where 88%, 89% and 91% of the people rated their economy as bad.


Optimism remains nevertheless

One interesting finding of the Eurobarometer report is that while ratings of the economies in EU member states have dipped considerably, the overall outlook on the future of the EU still remains positive for a majority of Europeans. 6 out of 10 respondents stated that they felt fairly or even very optimistic about the future of the EU, actually increasing the total share of optimistic outlooks by two percentage points when compared to last autumn's Eurobarometer data.

Out of the 27 EU member states, optimism turned out to be the majority view in 24 countries. People where split evenly (49%-49%) in their view of the EU’s future in France, while people tended to be slightly more pessimistic still in Italy and Greece where 50% and 55% respectively stated to have a negative outlook for the EU in the future.


The EU and the coronavirus outbreak


Finally, of course, the Eurobarometer report also tackled the ever-present issue of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the European population. Asked about the satisfaction with the measures taken by EU institutions to fight the coronavirus outbreak, Europeans were fairly evenly split in their assessment, with some marked differences between individual member states. A very slight relative majority of 45% of EU citizens stated that they were, overall, satisfied with how the EU had tackled the issue. However, while less than one fifth of Danish people (19%) were not satisfied, the share of unsatisfied Italians (58%) and people in Luxembourg (63%) was more than three times as large. Once again, however, Europeans seem to be more optimistic when looking into the future, as a clear majority of 62% of EU citizens stated that they trusted the EU to make the right the decisions in the future when it comes to similar crises.

On a more personal level, only 39% of Europeans stated that they had experienced little to no difficulty coping with the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences. Nearly 1 in 10 respondents (7%) said that they had a very difficult time coping with the situation to the point where it endangered their mental and/or physical health.

And with that, we have reached the end of the highly informative data, collected and presented in the latest Standard Eurobarometer report. We are currently working at high speeds on our very own extensive European coronavirus survey and hope to be able to bring you with its results very soon! So please check back soon and often on our website and Social Media and stay tuned for future updates.



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About the surveys: At the behalf of Eurobarometer, Kantar interviewed a total of 26,681 adults from the 27 EU Member States throughout July and August 2020.