EU recovery funds should only go to countries respecting Rule of Law, EP survey says

A Eurobarometer survey published today by the European Parliament (EP) ahead of the State of the European Union event on 15 September shows clear public support for transparency and effective control of EU funds disbursed in the framework of the NextGenerationEU programme.

Four out of five respondents (81%) say the EU should only provide funds to Member States that respect the rule of law and democratic principles, according to the Eurobarometer.

According to the survey, 53% of citizens (58% in Romania) fully agree that there must be effective control, with a further 32% (29% in Romania) tending to agree. Only 8% of respondents on EU average do not share this opinion. This is a position shared by the European Parliament, currently closely assessing the national plans with the Commission to ensure these funds are used in line with the objectives of a greener, more digital and resilient European society.

Citizens assess the premise of the European Union’s 800 billion Euro recovery programme positively: Three out of five citizens (60%) believe the NextGenerationEU projects will help their country to overcome the economic and social damage brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. 59% of citizens also say that the programme will help their country to be better prepared for future challenges. In this light, the survey also shows 53% of European citizens have a positive image of the European Union, with only 19% having a fairly or very negative image.

Yet survey results suggest concerns in a range of EU countries on how well national governments will actually use these additional EU funds. While on average 45% of citizens trust their national governments in this regard, 41% of respondents express doubts, showing significant differences in trust levels across the EU.

This “Flash Eurobarometer” survey was conducted for the European Parliament by Ipsos European Public Affairs from 17 – 25 August 2021, online with 26.459 respondents aged 15 years and older, in all 27 Member States.

EPEUeurobarometereuropean parliamentNextGenerationEUrecovery fundsrule of lawtransparency
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