Friday, 16 December 2011

Eurobarometer: Europeans and the Future of Development Aid

The European Commission has published recently a Eurobarometer poll on "Making a difference in the world: Europeans and the future of development aid" (pdf).

An anaylsyis done by DEEEP reveals that:
  • A vast majority of Europeans (85%) think it is important to "help people in developing countries". However, there is a continuous decline over the years (2004: 92%, 2009: 88%).

  • There is no significant difference between EU12 and EU15 member states on this question: While Hungary (23%), Estonia (24%) and Slovenia (28%) are the countries with highest rates saying helping people in developing countries is "not important", Cyprus is the country with by far highest percentage of people saying helping people in developing countries is "very important" (74%), and is together with Poland the country with the lowest percentage saying help is "not important" (4%). Poland (92%), Czech Republic (83%) and Slowakia (84%) show higher support to help people in developing countries than UK (81%) or France (82%). There is no pattern or common characteristic for EU12 or EU15 as categories.

  • Sub-saharian Africa is by far considered as the region most in need of aid (70% of responses). Also, it is "number one" in all member states. However, there is a tendency that in many EU12 states (excluding Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta) plus UK, Portugal and Italy, priority given to this region is lower (>66%) than in other countries. Interestingly, eastern Europe outside EU as a development priority is cited most in Austria (27%), Sweden (26%) and Denmark (23%).

  • There seems to be awareness on questions of policy coherence, trade/finance, peace building, migration and agriculture being mentioned most often as policies having biggest impact on developing countries ("in addition to aid"). However, 13% say "none" or "don't know".

  • 62% of Europeans say aid should be increased (64% in 2010). However, 80% state that "in addition to fighting poverty, (..) aid should be linked to other European objectives such as the management of migration flows, access to energy and raw materials or trade opportunities of the EU". Aid only if you take back your migrants and let us exploit your resources.

  • 47% of Europeans are ready to pay more for fair trade products, 47% aren't. This varies significantly between countries, depending on economic situation, with RO (22%), PT (21%) and BG (19%) ranking last. Interestingly, 60% of the students are ready to pay more: More than income, level of education seems to be a key factor when it comes to fair trade products.

  • More information at the DEEEP website.

    Information provided by Tobias Troll, DEEEP

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