Special Eurobarometer: 9 in 10 Europeans support EU’s role in civil protection

EU civil protection teams supported the emergency response in Beirut, Lebanon, following the deadly explosions at the seaport. ©European Union, 2020 (photographer: Bernard Khalil)

1. EU citizens are aware that the EU helps coordinate the disaster response

A majority of Europeans (51%) are aware that the EU helps coordinate the response to disasters, of whom 92% say they are aware that their countries participate in this coordinated response.

© Vladimir Rodas

2. When disasters strike, the EU should coordinate the response

Countries are often overwhelmed when disasters such as earthquakes, floods, wildfires or pandemics happen. To support them, the EU can act as the main contact point and help pool capacities to respond through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The majority of EU citizens believe that the EU should coordinate the response to disasters. 43% of respondents consider the EU’s coordinating role to be ‘very important’, while 47% believe it is ‘fairly important’.

3. Europeans are in favour of solidarity among Member States

When disasters are too serious for countries to deal with on their own, more than 9 in 10 EU citizens agree that another EU country should provide help. When another country needs help, 9 in 10 Europeans also believe that their own country should be there to provide support.

©European Union, 2020 (photographer: Piero Cruciatti)

4. During the coronavirus pandemic, EU coordinated action has helped Member States

The coronavirus pandemic brought new challenges including the lack of ventilators, personal protection equipment, etc. Countries have not been able to respond to this unprecedented outbreak on their own and, in times of crisis, the European Union is stronger together. Europeans agree: 54% think that EU coordinated action has helped their countries respond more effectively to the difficulties posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

5. Europeans expect more coordinated action on future challenges

An overwhelming majority agree that coordinated EU action should be increased to respond more effectively to future disasters and crises. More than 84% agree with this statement, with 39% saying that they ‘totally agree’ and 45% who ‘tend to agree’. Only 1 in 10 respondents disagree with this statement.

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