Almost 9 in 10 EU citizens acknowledge the importance of supporting development aid, the latest "Eurobarometer" survey has revealed. Glo.be discusses the main European and Belgian trends.
The Eurobarometer survey is part of a series of studies into development cooperation, in which European citizens are surveyed on a regular basis on behalf of the European Commission.
The European Union
In general, although the number of people agreeing with the statements has decreased slightly since last year, the results of the 2019 edition confirm the importance of helping developing countries in the eyes of almost 90% of European citizens.
A majority (58%) believe that tackling poverty in developing countries should be a priority, either for the EU or for their national governments. However, one trend stands out in particular: 7 out of 10 people believe that this should be a priority for the EU.
More than three-quarters of the people surveyed agreed that tackling poverty in developing countries is in the EU's interest.
More than three-quarters of the people surveyed agreed that tackling poverty in developing countries is in the EU's interest. For 70% of respondents, providing financial assistance to developing countries is an effective way to consolidate the EU's influence in the world. There is considerable support for the idea that the EU should strengthen its partnership and financial investment in Africa, to create jobs and ensure sustainable development on both continents.
73% of respondents believe that EU financial assistance to developing countries should remain at current levels, or even increase. 75% also believe that private companies have a major role to play in helping developing countries. More than 7 out of 10 people believe that financial assistance would be an effective way to stem irregular migration. Three quarters of respondents acknowledge that financial assistance provided to countries helps bring about a more just and peaceful world, representing an increase from the results in 2018.
European citizens were also asked about the most pressing issues for the future of developing countries. The three most frequently cited issues were education, peace and security, as well as water and sanitation.
However, there are differences of opinion within Europe. Respondents who take a positive view of development issues are dispersed throughout the countries of the Union, and opinions also vary according to socio-demographic and economic factors.
And how does Belgium fit into all this?
In general, Belgium follows the European trend. More than three quarters of respondents see development cooperation as an important aspect. Moreover, more than 72% of the Belgian nationals surveyed believe that tackling poverty should be one of the EU's main priorities. They also acknowledge that tackling poverty in developing countries is in the EU's interest.
In terms of financial assistance, 7 out of 10 Belgians believe that this is an effective way to consolidate the EU's influence in the world. They also believe that the EU should strengthen its partnership and financial investment in Africa. Similarly, many Belgian citizens believe that private companies have a major role to play in supporting developing countries.
More than 72% of the Belgian nationals surveyed believe that tackling poverty should be one of the EU's main priorities.
More than three quarters of Belgians believe that development cooperation helps bring about a more peaceful and just world, and they see it as a powerful means of stemming irregular migration. Regarding the crucial issues of cooperation in the eyes of Belgians, it is the peace and security issue that stands out as being the most important.
The survey highlights the fact that there is broad European consensus on the subject of development cooperation, making it one of the most supported policies of the European Union. Let's continue down that path!