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Eurobarometer: Europeans set defence and energy autonomy as key priorities for 2022

A Eurobarometer released today shows that European citizens support massively a common security and defence policy and expect the EU to phase out its dependency on Russian sources of energy

By: EBR - Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2022

The survey confirms the large support for the EU’s response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
The survey confirms the large support for the EU’s response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

A Eurobarometer released today shows that European citizens support massively a common security and defence policy and expect the EU to phase out its dependency on Russian sources of energy. The survey also confirms the large support for the EU’s response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

The EU’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – In line with the results from the Flash Eurobarometer published on 5 May, today’s poll confirms that the majority of Europeans (59%) are satisfied with the EU’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and with their own government’s reaction (57%). Humanitarian actions are the most supported (93%) followed by welcoming in the EU Ukrainians fleeing the war (91%). 80% support economic sanctions on the Russian government, companies and individuals and 70% the financing of supply and delivery of military equipment to Ukraine.

Defence and security – The vast majority EU citizens (81%) are in favour of a common defence and security policy among EU Member States, with at least two thirds of respondents supporting this view in each country. Furthermore, 93% agree that Member States should act jointly when it comes to defending the EU’s territory and 85% think that the co-operation in defence matters at EU level should be increased.

Energy autonomy – The Eurobarometer also shows a large support to RePowerEU’s objectives. For 87% of respondents, the EU should reduce its dependency on Russian sources of energy as soon as possible. 80% agree that the energy policy can contribute to defending EU’s strategic interests. 86% think that reducing imports of oil and gas and investing in renewable energy is important for our overall security and 87% that increasing energy efficiency will make us less dependent from energy producers outside the EU. 85% would like the EU to invest massively in renewable energies.

Tackling climate change – 85% of Europeans think that tackling climate change can help improve their own health and well-being and the same proportion believe it can create new opportunities for innovation, investment and jobs. Although 49% fear that tackling climate change could harm our economy, 83% think that it can help to reduce the costs of greater ecological damage in the future. Furthermore, 81% believe that on the long run, renewable energy can limit the price we pay for our energy consumption.

Key priorities – The Eurobarometer shows that, in light of the current situation, Europeans consider defence and security (34%) and ‘making the EU and its Member States more autonomous in energy supply’ (26%) as the areas to be most prioritised in 2022. Dealing with the economic situation (24%), with environment and climate change (22%) and with unemployment (21%) follow closely.

The Coronavirus pandemic – The majority of respondents are satisfied with the way the EU has handled the vaccination strategy (58%) and with the way their own government has handled it (59%).

Background

The “Special Eurobarometer” 526 – “Key challenges of our times - The EU in 2022” was conducted through face-to-face and online interviews between 19 April and 16 May 2022 across the 27 EU Member States. 26,578 interviews were conducted in the EU27 Member States.

*Source: European Commission

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