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Eurobarometer: Optimism about the future of the EU at its highest since 2009

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Attitudes towards the EU remain positive and broadly stable, according to the latest Standard Eurobarometer conducted in June-July 2021.

Optimism about the future of the EU has reached its highest level since 2009 and trust in the EU remains at its highest since 2008. Support for the euro remains stable at its highest since 2004. The survey also indicates a significant improvement in the perception of the state of national economies.

European citizens identify the economic situation as their top concern at EU level, followed by the environment and climate change and by immigration. Health is still the main issue at national level, slightly ahead of the economic situation of the country.

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The majority of Europeans are satisfied with the measures taken by the EU and by national governments against the coronavirus pandemic and think that the NextGenerationEU recovery plan will be effective in responding to the economic effects of the pandemic. Nearly two-thirds trust the EU to make the right decisions in the future to respond to the pandemic.

1. Optimism about the future of the European Union

Optimism about the future of the EU has increased sharply since summer 2020, with two-thirds of respondents now holding a positive view (66%, +6 percentage points). This is the highest level since autumn 2009. Just over three in ten respondents are pessimistic about the EU's future (31%, -7) - the lowest level since 2009.

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A clear majority is optimistic about the future of the EU in 26 member states, while public opinion remains split in Greece. Optimism has increased in 22 countries since summer 2020, with very large increases in Malta (75%, +25), Italy (67%, +18) and Portugal (76%, +15). As a result of these changes, optimism is now the majority opinion in Italy (67%) and France (53%).

2. Image and trust in the EU

After a large increase between summer 2020 and winter 2020-2021, the positive image of the EU remains at a relatively high level (45%) and is the majority opinion in 20 EU Member States (neutral image 38%, negative image 16%). The highest results are observed in Ireland (70%) and Portugal (62%).

Almost half of all Europeans trust the European Union (49%). This remains the highest overall level registered since spring 2008. Trust in national governments has increased slightly (37%) while trust in national parliaments has remained stable at 35%.

3. Main concerns at EU and national level

The economic situation has regained first place as the most important issue facing the EU with 27% of mentions (-8 percentage points compared with winter 2020-2021). The environment and climate change has risen from fourth place to equal second place (25%, +5), shared with immigration (25%, +7), followed in equal fourth place by the state of member states' public finances and by health (both 22%). Mentions of health have declined significantly since winter 2020-2021 (22%, -16), when it was in first position.

At national level, health remains the most important issue, although mentions have declined considerably since winter 2020-2021 (28%, -16). The economic situation is in second place, mentioned by just over one quarter of respondents (26%, -7).

4. The current economic situation and the Euro

Since winter 2020-2021, the proportion of respondents who think the situation of their national economy is “bad” has declined markedly (-11), although this remains the majority view (58%).

40% of EU citizens now hold the view that their national economic situation is “good”, a significant increase (+11) after three consecutive surveys had showed a decline. However, this level of positive assessment remains below those measured in the period spring 2017 – autumn 2019.

Perceptions of the current situation of the national economy vary widely across Member States, ranging from 89% in Luxembourg who think it is good to 9% in Greece who think the same way.

Support for the euro in the euro area has remained stable since winter 2020-2021, at its highest point since 2004, at 79%. A high percentage of respondents across the EU overall, stable at the highest level ever recorded (70%), also share this view.

5. The coronavirus pandemic and public opinion in the EU

Satisfaction with the measures taken by the European Union to fight the coronavirus pandemic has increased significantly since winter 2020-2021, with more than half of EU citizens now satisfied (51%, +8). Dissatisfaction has declined (41%, -8), while 8% of citizens say they don't know (stable).

Citizens' satisfaction with the measures taken by their national government to fight the coronavirus pandemic has also risen markedly to become the majority view (53%, +10 since winter 2020-2021). 46% are dissatisfied (-10), while 1% (stable) say they don't know.

Almost two thirds of Europeans trust the EU to make the right decisions on the pandemic in the future (65%, +6 since winter 2020-2021). This is the majority view in every EU member state.

A majority of Europeans think NextGenerationEU, the EU's recovery plan, will be effective in responding to the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic (57%, +2 since winter 2020-2021).

Close to seven Europeans in ten said they had already been vaccinated at the time of fieldwork in June-July, or would like to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as a soon as possible (69%), and 9% said they would “like to do so some time in 2021”.

Background

The “Spring 2021 – Standard Eurobarometer” (EB 95) was conducted through face-to-face and online interviews between 14 June and 12 July 2021 across the 27 EU member states. Some questions were also asked in twelve other countries or territories[1]. 26,544 interviews were conducted in the EU-27 member states.

Eurobarometer

Eurobarometer: Europeans' use and views of electronic communications in the EU

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The Commission has published the results of the latest Eurobarometer survey on e-communications in the EU. The survey, conducted from November to December 2020 and from February to March 2021, shows Europeans' use of and satisfaction with electronic communication services, including with internet, fixed and mobile telephone access, service bundles, roaming, emergency and international communication within the EU and more. The survey indicates that nearly all Europeans have mobile phones (96% of respondents), while 53% have fixed phone lines. When it comes to internet connections, 81% of citizens are satisfied with the quality of download speeds and 82% with the quality of upload speeds. Those numbers are lower in rural villages, where 77% of respondents are satisfied with the quality of their connections.

A third (33%) of respondents have experienced lower mobile internet speed while roaming in another EU country compared to in their home country. This edition of the Eurobarometer also asked citizens about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on their internet subscriptions and found that 7% of Europeans made changes to their internet subscription, while 3% switched their internet provider. On emergency communications, 74% of Europeans say that in their own country they would call the 112 number and 41% would dial 112 when in another country. The Eurobarometer is set against the backdrop of the European Electronic Communications Code, which updated the EU electronic communications regulatory framework in 2018 to expand consumers' rights and operators' incentives for investments in advanced networks. More information about the results and the Eurobarometer report are available online.

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Eurobarometer show record public support for the euro and broad support for introduction of rounding rules

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Public support for the euro has reached an all-time high, according to the European Commission's latest Eurobarometer survey. A record 80% of respondents believe the euro is good for the EU and 70% consider the euro good for their own country. The Eurobarometer survey was conducted among some 17,700 respondents from the 19 eurozone member states between 22 and 29 March 2021. The Eurobarometer survey and the results of a separate open public consultation find that an increasing number of citizens support rounding rules and the abolishment of one and two-cent coins. The Eurobarometer shows 67%  of the public are in favour of abolishing one- and two-euro cent coins through mandatory rounding (up or down) of the final sum of purchases to the nearest five cents. There is majority support for this in all 19 eurozone member states. The summary of the open public consultation on rounding rules shows that 72% of respondents do not find one- and two euro cent coins useful and 71% consider that rounding rules to the nearest five euro cents should be introduced. A majority of respondents consider that rounding rules should be mandatory (71%) and harmonised in the euro area (77%). The public consultation attracted 17,033 responses. The public consultation took place over the course of 15 weeks, between 28 September 2020 and 11 January 2021. The Eurobarometer survey is available here. The results of the public consultation on rounding rules are available here.

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Elections: European Co-operation Network on Elections discusses political advertising, as more than half of Europeans feel exposed to disinformation

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On 25 March, the European Commission convened the ninth meeting of the European Co-operation Network on Elections to discuss, among others, the transparency of political advertising. According to Eurobarometer figures published today, nearly four in ten Europeans saw online adverts which they could not clearly identify as political, whilst more than five in ten report to have been exposed to disinformation. As announced in the European Democracy Action Plan, the Commission will present an initiative to ensure greater transparency in political advertising later this year.

Values and Transparency Vice President Věra Jourová said: “There is a clear need for greater transparency in online political advertising. One in three Europeans could not tell if an online ad targeting them was political or not. That's not right. The same rules should apply online as offline.”

Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said: “The Eurobarometer shows the changing electoral trends in Europe. Given the Coronavirus pandemic, six in ten Europeans are in favour of remote voting. Making digitalization accessible to all is already on the cards and we will push this further to ensure that no one is left behind.”

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The participants of the European Co-operation Network on Elections also discussed disinformation in the context of elections and will be debriefed on the work of the Rapid Alert System. The Eurobarometer published today shows that, compared with 2018, fewer Europeans are concerned about elections being manipulated through cyberattacks (57%, -4pp) or fraud in remote voting (63%, -5pp). In addition, an overwhelming eight in ten Europeans consider that online social networks and Internet platforms should observe the same rules as traditional media in a pre-election period. Today's Eurobarometer and a factsheet are available here. More information on the European Cooperation Network on Elections is available here.

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