EU survey highlights support for greater crisis management role at EU level

  • 2021-05-09
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Two days ahead of the launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe, the European Parliament on Friday published the results of its Eurobarometer survey on the future of Europe.

The survey was commissioned jointly with the European Commission.

Following the first results published, on 9 March, the full report finds that around eight in ten Europeans, or 81 percent, agree that one of the priorities for the conference should be how the EU could better handle crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. More than a third, or 38 percent, agree strongly with this.

More than two-thirds of those surveyed are in favor of electing the president of the European Commission through the choice of lead candidates in the European elections. Less than a quarter, 22 percent, are not in favor of such a process.

While 61 percent agree that such a process would only make sense if EU citizens were given the option to vote for transnational lists, nearly two thirds of respondents, 64 percent, agree that this approach would make the process of electing the president of the European Commission more transparent. Citizens believe it would also give more legitimacy to the European Commission, expressed by 63 percent, and that it would represent significant progress for democracy within the EU, expressed by 62 percent.

Twice as many EU citizens see a possibility of voting for transnational lists in European elections as a good thing, 42 percent, compared to only one in five, 19 percent, who reject this proposal.

Europeans who are willing to get involved in the Conference on the Future of Europe would foremost like to do so through meetings in their local area, such as citizens’ debates or assemblies, supported by 44 percent. Citizens could contribute to the conference’s ideas gathering process by answering a survey, supported by 34 percent, by putting forward ideas and proposals to European and national politicians, supported by 31 percent, and by taking part in online consultations via discussion platforms, supported by 30 percent, those surveyed said.

More than eight in ten Europeans, 83 percent, agree that the conference should specifically involve young people to foster new ideas, including four in ten, 40 percent, who totally agreed.

Two-thirds of Europeans, 66 percent, agree that the EU project offers a future perspective for Europe’s youth. A similar proportion, 65 percent, agree that the EU is a place of stability in a troubled world, although this is lower than in the previous survey in 2018, down by 11 percentage points.

The special Eurobarometer survey was carried out between Oct. 22 and Nov. 20, 2020 in the 27 EU member states and was commissioned jointly by the European Commission and the European Parliament. The survey was conducted face-to-face and completed with online interviews where necessary, as a result of the pandemic. Some 27,034 interviews were conducted in total.