Bulgarians Feel More Optimistic about COVID-19 Pandemic Than Average European
The European Parliament today published the full results of its third sociological survey this year on the views of European citizens on the Coronavirus crisis and the European Union. Although 50% of Europeans again report "uncertainty" as a key emotional state due to the negative economic impact of the pandemic, this poll shows that more people have a positive opinion of the EU as compared to spring. In Bulgaria, the share of respondents who feel insecurity is below the EU average of 38%, while 42% of them - a share well above the EU average , express hope for improving of the situation.
With the growing number of EU citizens feeling uncertain about their future, two-thirds of respondents (66%) agree that the EU needs to have more authority to deal with the pandemic. In Bulgaria, 70% of respondents agree with this statement. Similarly, the majority of respondents across the EU (54%) believe that the Union should have more financial resources to deal with the effects of the pandemic. 51% of Bulgarian respondents share the same opinion.
It is of the utmost importance for EU citizens That the EU funds be allocated only to those Member States that have a functioning judicial system and strong respect for the common European democratic values. More than three-quarters of respondents (77%) agree that the EU should only provide funds to Member States if their governments observe the rule of law and democratic principles. Bulgarian respondents hold the same opinion and even exceed its supporters in EU by one percentage point, with 78%.
The main priority in spending, according to European citizens, should be public health (54%), followed by economic recovery and new business opportunities (42%), climate change and environmental protection (37%), as well as employment and social affairs (35%). For Bulgarian respondents, the priority topics are public health (53%), education and culture (49%), economic recovery and new business opportunities (48%) employment and social affairs (37%).
Attitudes towards the EU have become more positive than reported in the first survey in April/May this year. The share of respondents who have maintained their positive attitudes towards the EU has steadily increased from just 31% in April 2020 to 41%, according to the current survey. In Bulgaria, 38% of respondents were positive, representing an increase of 3 percentage points compared with the previous survey.
Nevertheless, a majority of EU respondents are still unhappy with the level of solidarity, or even lack of it, between Member States. Around half of respondents at European level (49%) state that they are satisfied with the measures taken by their governments against the COVID-19 pandemic so far, while at the same time a similar share (48%) qualify them as “unsatisfactory”. Reports have become more negative than in the latest survey, marking a drop in satisfaction with government measures. 32% of Bulgarian respondents approve of the measures taken by the government, with 64% of them holding the opposite opinion.
At the pan-European level, more than a third of respondents (39%) say that the COVID-19 pandemic has already had an impact on their personal incomes, with 53% of them giving the same answer in Bulgaria. Another 27% of respondents in all Member States said they expected a negative impact on their finances in the future.
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