Europeans’ overall view with regard to the
measures implemented by the EU for combating the coronavirus pandemic is
ambivalent. Only about half of the Europe’s residents are satisfied with the
action plan adopted by the EU. Nevertheless three-quarters of Europeans place a
great deal of hope in European governance: they want the EU to be given more
powers so that it will be better able to deal with crises like the COVID-19
pandemic in the future. This is according to the spring Eurobarometer survey that was published at the
beginning of June 2021. In a survey initiated by the European Parliament,
nearly 27,000 respondents from the 27 EU member states were surveyed between
March 16 and April 12, 2021.
Dissatisfaction with the measures
Only 48% of Europeans (almost one in two)
are satisfied with the measures implemented by the EU for combating the
COVID-19 pandemic. 5% are very satisfied. In Germany, the people were even more
critical of the measures taken by the EU than those from other member states:
only 35% of Germans (i.e. one in three) were positive about the measures taken
by the EU for combating the pandemic. Criticism focused on the procuring of
coronavirus vaccines for all 27 member states as well as coordinating the
pan-EU defence against the pandemic.
In order to overcome the current crisis,
the respondents believed that the EU should give priority to the vaccination
programme, invest in medical research and work out a strategy for dealing with
future crises. The fourth priority involved developing a European healthcare
policy, followed by the EU's role in the global response for ensuring universal
access to vaccines or treatment.
Transparent information policy
A positive outcome of the survey was that
people in Europe seemed aware of the European government's efforts for
combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Eight out of ten respondents know what the EU
is doing to combat the consequences of the pandemic. Almost half (48% EU-wide,
63% in Germany) also had more detailed information about the measures involved.
More responsibility will be needed in the future
The result of the current Eurobarometer
survey is also clear regarding the EU's future handling of crises: three out of
four respondents believed that the EU should have greater authority when
dealing with global challenges. 74% of Europeans (65% in Germany) either
"agree" or "strongly agree" that the EU should be given
more power to manage crises at EU level, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fear of material and personal losses
latest survey also showed that support for the EU remains high despite the
pandemic even though EU citizens are very concerned about the personal impact
and financial losses caused by the COVID-19 crisis. By the end of the first
quarter of 2021, almost one in three (31%) had already experienced negative
effects caused by the pandemic on their personal financial situation (24% in
Germany). A further 26% of respondents (19% of Germans) expected this to happen.