The Flash Eurobarometer survey published today shows an overwhelming support among Europeans for the measures taken over the last year to protect consumers and companies from volatility of energy prices, as well as action to foster energy security and the green transition. It also confirms a large consensus among EU citizens in favour of boosting clean tech industry for more competitiveness, as well EU’s actions taken in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
86% find that it was important to take initiatives at European level to limit the immediate impact of rising energy prices on consumers and companies during the last year. Over eight in 10 hold this view about promoting sustainable use of natural resources (86%), facilitating the joint purchase of gas by EU Member States to ensure security of supply (82%), building partnerships with other global actors such as the UK, US, Japan, and Australia (81%), reducing excessive commercial dependencies from countries like Russia or China (80%) and enhancing the competitiveness of the European clean tech industry (80%). EU measures aiming at accelerating the digital transformation while protecting consumers and at increasing the resilience of the EU’s economy are perceived as important by respectively 77% and 76% of respondents.
When it comes to future action, 86% think that gas storage in the EU should be filled up to avoid the risk of shortage, 85% that the EU should boost the manufacturing of clean technologies within the Member States and 79% that EU measures should aim at reducing energy consumption. 75% of respondents believe that the EU should fund joint defence projects to develop strategic defence capabilities and technologies.
In addition, a large majority of Europeans think that the war in Ukraine shows the need for the EU to secure its energy and economic security (85%), as well as to increase military co-operation between Member States (75%), while continuing to show solidarity with Ukraine (71%).
Europeans continue to be in favour of supporting Ukraine and Ukrainians. 86% approve of the EU continuing to provide humanitarian support to the people affected by the war, 77% accept welcoming in the EU people fleeing the war, 71% back imposing economic sanctions against Russia. Around two thirds of Europeans, respectively 67% and 65%, think that the EU should support Ukraine’s path towards European integration and its integration into the single market. Finally, 65% are in favour of supporting Ukraine financially and economically and 57% think that the EU should support the purchase and supply of military equipment and training to Ukraine.
Citizens were also asked, for a series of values, whether they are best embodied by the EU, by other countries in the world, or by both equally. Around half of them believe the EU best embodies ‘respect for fundamental rights and values’ (53%), ‘social equality and welfare’ (50%), ‘tolerance and openness to others’ (49%) and ‘peace’ (48%), closely followed by ‘solidarity with countries within and outside the EU’ (46%) and ‘respect for nature and protection of climate and the environment (45%). For each of these values, around one respondent out of six believe that other countries best embody them and around one out of four say they are represented by both the EU and others.
The Flash Eurobarometer survey on EU challenges and priorities in 2023 was conducted in the 27 Member States between 24 and 31 August 2023. 26,514 EU citizens have been interviewed online.