Future of Europe survey
In a year dominated by the Coronavirus pandemic, European citizens see the European Union as best placed to respond to present challenges and secure future opportunities.
A new Special Eurobarometer, published one day before the signing of the Joint Declaration by the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission, focusses on the Conference on the Future of Europe, measuring attitudes towards it and some of the key themes to be covered. This Conference aims to create a new public forum for an open, inclusive, transparent and structured debate with Europeans around the issues that matter to them and affect their everyday lives. The survey, conducted between October and November 2020 by Kantar, has been commissioned jointly by the European Parliament and the European Commission.
The Conference on the Future of Europe
Three-quarters of Europeans consider that the Conference on the Future of Europe will have a positive impact on democracy within the EU: 76% agree that it represents significant progress for democracy within the EU, with a clear majority supporting this view in every EU Member State.
Citizens’ voice in the EU
The very vast majority of Europeans (92%) across all Member States demand that citizens’ voices are ‘taken more into account in decisions relating to the future of Europe’.
While voting in European elections is clearly regarded (by 55% of respondents) as the most effective way of ensuring voices are heard by decision-makers at EU level, there is very strong support for EU citizens having a greater say in decisions relating to the future of Europe.
45% of Europeans declare themselves ‘rather in favour of the EU but not in the way it has been realised so far’.
The Future of Europe
Six in ten Europeans agree that the Coronavirus crisis had made them reflect on the future of the European Union while 39% disagree with this.
Assets and challenges
Europeans consider that the EU’s respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law (32%) and its economic, industrial and trading power (30%) are its main assets.
Climate change is clearly regarded as the main global challenge affecting the future of the EU, with 45% of Europeans selecting this as the main challenge. The second and third most mentioned issues, by a similar proportion of Europeans are terrorism (38%) and health-related risks (37%).