Eurobarometer: Trust in the European Union has increased since last summer

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

While the coronavirus pandemic has been impacting on European daily lives for more than a year, attitudes towards the EU remain positive, according to the latest Standard Eurobarometer conducted in February-March 2021.

The image of the EU and trust in the EU have increased and reached their highest levels in more than a decade.

Europeans citizens identify health and the economic situation as the two top concerns both at EU and national levels.

The survey also indicates an increase in concern about the current state of national economies: 69% of Europeans think that the situation is currently ‘bad’ and 61% of Europeans fear that their country’s economy will recover from the impact of the pandemic ‘in 2023 or later’.

1. Trust and image of the EU

Close to half of Europeans trust the European Union (49%), after a 6-point increase since the Standard Eurobarometer of summer 2020. It is the highest level registered since spring 2008. Trust in national governments (36%) and national parliaments (35%) have lost ground, though both remain at a higher level than in autumn 2019.

In 20 Member States, a majority of respondents say they trust the EU, with the highest levels found in Portugal (78%) and Ireland (74%).

The positive image of the EU (46%) has reached its highest level since autumn 2009, after a 6-percentage point increase since summer 2020. Fewer people have a neutral image of the EU (38%, -2), while 15% (-4) have a negative image of the EU.

A majority of respondents have a positive image of the EU in 25 EU Member States (up from 13 in summer 2020), with the highest proportions found in Portugal (76%) and Ireland (75%).

2. Main concerns at EU and national level

Almost four EU citizens in ten consider health as the most important issue currently facing the EU: 38% of respondents now mention this issue, a steep increase of 16 percentage points since summer 2020. It has taken first place ahead of the economic situation (35%, unchanged), while the state of Member States’ public finances has slid into third position, (21%, -2). The environment and climate change is in now in fourth place (20%, unchanged), while immigration, at 18% after a 5-point decrease, has fallen out of the leading trio of concerns for the first time since autumn 2014. Unemployment is in sixth position, with 15% of mentions (-2 percentage points).

Regarding main concerns at national level, health is also perceived as the most important issue (44%), after a 13-percentage point increase since summer 2020. The economic situation is in second place, mentioned by a third of Europeans (33%, unchanged), while a quarter cite unemployment (25%, -3).

3. The economic situation and the euro

Perceptions of the national economy have continued to deteriorate: only 29% of EU citizens now think that the situation is “good” (-5 percentage points since summer 2020, -18 since autumn 2019), the lowest level for this indicator since spring 2013. The proportion of Europeans who consider this situation to be “bad” has gained ground correspondingly (69%, +5).

Positive perceptions of the current situation of the national economy varies widely between EU Member States, ranging from 86% in Luxembourg, down to 7% in Italy.

Support for the euro remains very high: 79% (+4) of citizens in the euro area are in favour of the euro, the highest point since 2004, with figures ranging from 95% in Portugal to 70% in France and Austria.  Overall in the European Union, seven in ten Europeans support the euro (70%, +3), the highest level ever recorded.

4. The coronavirus pandemic

43% of Europeans are satisfied with measures taken so far by national governments to fight the pandemic (-19 percentage points since last summer) while 56% are dissatisfied (+19).

The same proportion is satisfied with measures taken by the EU (43%, -2), while 49% are dissatisfied (+5). However, 59% trust the EU to make the right decisions in its response to the pandemic in the future.

More than six Europeans in ten (61%) think that their country’s economy will recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in 2023 or later. Less than a quarter think that recovery will come in 2022 (23%), and just 5% think that it will be this year, in 2021. Close to one in ten fear that their country’s economy will never recover from the impact of the pandemic (8%).

A majority of Europeans believe that the EU 750 billion euro recovery plan, NextGenerationEU, is an effective instrument for responding to the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic (55%). Close to four in ten think that it is not effective (38%).

Since summer 2020, Europeans’ personal experience of measures to fight the pandemic, such as confinement, has deteriorated: a majority of EU citizens now consider that it was a difficult experience to cope with (40%, +8 percentage points since summer 2020), while less than three in ten say it was “easy to cope with” (29%, -9). The proportion who say that it was “both easy and difficult to cope with” has remained almost unchanged, at 31% (+1).

5. Vaccination against Covid-19

45% of Europeans answered they would like to get vaccinated as a soon as possible – or had already been vaccinated at the time of fieldwork, and 20% would like to do so some time in 2021. 21% would prefer to get vaccinated later. Only 12% say that they would never get vaccinated, and 2% that they “don’t know”.

In 21 countries, a majority of respondents would like to get vaccinated as soon as possible or have already been vaccinated, led by Ireland (74%), Denmark (73%) and Sweden (71%). On the other hand, less than one respondent out of five intends to get vaccinated as soon as possible in Bulgaria (19%) and Cyprus (16%).


The “Winter 2020-2021 – Standard Eurobarometer” (EB 94) was conducted through face-to-face and online interviews between 12 February and 18 March 2021 across the 27 EU Member States and twelve countries or territories[1]. 27,409 interviews were conducted in the EU27 Member States between 12 February and 11 March 2021.

For More Information

Standard Eurobarometer 94

[1] The 27 European Union (EU) Member States, five candidate countries (Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey), Bosnia-and-Herzegovina, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom as well as the Turkish Cypriot Community in the part of the country that is not controlled by the government of the Republic of Cyprus, and Kosovo* (*this designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence).

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN chief welcomes South Sudan’s Unity government, lauds parties for ‘significant achievement’

With lifelong learning, you too can join the digital workplace

Legendary Harlem Globetrotters slam-dunk at the UN, with message that brings families, nations together

German stock market is not affected by the Greek debt revolution while Athens is running out of time

A Europe that delivers: EU citizens expect more EU level action in future

Ukraine: Temperatures plunge amid rising humanitarian needs

How to talk about climate change: 5 tips from the front lines

This Canadian start-up turns millions of chopsticks into sustainable furniture

OECD Secretary-General Gurría welcomes announcement of new trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada

How tech is helping the agriculture sector curb carbon emissions

2019 data on official development aid & online discussion of ODA’s role in the Covid-19 crisis

Spanish vote – bad luck for Greece: Does Iphigenia need to be sacrificed for favourable winds to blow in Eurozone?

How three US cities are using data to end homelessness

MEPs want to ensure sufficient funding for Connecting Europe’s future

Post-Brexit muddled times: the resignation of UK’s top ambassador and Theresa May’s vague plans

Re-open EU: Commission launches a website to safely resume travelling and tourism in the EU

How to make primary healthcare a favourable career choice for medical students: strategies and reflections

Eastern Partnership: Commission proposes new policy objectives for beyond 2020

What if big-tech companies became non-profits?

South Sudan: UN rights experts see little headway on peace deal amid spike in local-level violence

UN official sees ‘unprecedented opportunities’ to make progress on peace in Afghanistan

Commission supports reform projects in Member States for more jobs and sustainable growth

Polish de facto ban on abortion puts women’s lives at risk, says Parliament

Mobile health technology: Advances, Facilitations and Promotion of Autonomy

Road injuries leading cause of death for the young, despite safety gains: UN report

State aid: Commission approves up to €4 billion French measure to recapitalise Air France

Iran: UN rights chief ‘deeply disturbed’ by continuing executions of juvenile offenders

This afternoon Britain will be once more isolated from mainland Europe

MEPs want ambitious funding for cross-border projects to connect people

EU’s guidelines on net neutrality see the light although grey areas do remain

Why South Africa is on a path of economic renewal

Built by a woman: supporting the dreams of mum entrepreneurs

Texting is a daily source of stress for 1/3 of people – are you one of them?

Pandemic versus fear

A breath of fresh air: How three disused industrial areas became beautiful parks

Will the French let Macron destroy their party political system?

Pro-EU forces won a 70% triumph in the European elections

Norway has successfully enforced its foreign bribery laws but faces potential obstacles

EU is not only obsessed with Facebook but also blaims now innocent websites using social plugins to serve democratic dialogues?

Right-wing “sovranism” harm national identity

EU revengefully shows no mercy to Cameron by demanding a fast and sloppy Brexit now

What wealth managers can learn from family dynamics

How global food safety protects the planet and begins on the farm

OECD: Mind the financial gap that lies ahead

Why collaboration will be key to creating the workforce of the future

Green Deal: How MEPs wish to channel EU investment to sustainable activities

VW emissions scandal: While U.S. car owners are vindicated, Europe still unable to change its laws and protect its consumers

If on a summer’s night: is UK businesses’ “new deal” the only key to the “best of all worlds”?

The needs, challenges and power dynamics of refugee resettlement

A jingoistic Spanish ‘war’ from the past

Euro celebrates its 20th birthday

Students & Allies Unite Globally To Launch #Students_Against_COVID

This team of Saudi women designed an award-winning app to make the Hajj safer

Here’s how we get businesses to harmonize on climate change

Forty-two countries adopt new OECD Principles on Artificial Intelligence

No more lead in PVC to protect public health, say MEPs

‘Multiplicity’ of rights violations in Ukraine as fifth winter of conflict bites

5G: How a ‘legion of robots’ could help save the rhino

It’s Trump’s anti-globalization and inward-looking rhetoric that perturbs GOP and US

‘No shortcuts to a healthier world’: WHO chief sets out health priorities for the decade

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s