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Eurobarometer: strong citizen support for EU humanitarian action

© UNHCR/Aristophane Ngargoune, 2020.

In the run-up to the adoption of the new Humanitarian Aid Communication, the Commission gathered citizens' opinions on EU humanitarian aid in the 27 Member States. The survey results show clear support for EU humanitarian action, with 91% of respondents expressing positive opinions on EU-funded humanitarian aid activities.

Almost half of all respondents believe that the EU should sustain existing levels of support for humanitarian aid, whilst four 1 every 10 individuals consider that funding should increase.

The European Union, together with its Member States, is the largest donor of humanitarian aid in the world. The EU funds about 36% of global humanitarian assistance. A large majority (82%) of the survey respondents have positive feelings towards EU’s leading role in financing humanitarian aid, of which 55% feel satisfaction, 17% pride, and 10% enthusiasm.

About 74% of EU citizens believe that the EU should act as one when coordinating and providing humanitarian aid, whereas 22% of respondents think aid is more efficient if member countries act separately.

Almost half of respondents (48%) think that the EU should keep the current level of spending, whereas 41% think that the budget should be increased. Less than 1 in 10 citizens responded that the EU should invest less. The EU has recently adopted its annual humanitarian aid budget of €1.4 billion for 2021, an increase of more than 60% compared to last year.

The European Union has funded various initiatives to support countries all over the world in the battle against COVID-19. For instance, the European Commission put in place the EU Humanitarian Air Bridge, a set of services enabling the delivery of medical equipment, humanitarian cargo and staff. Europeans fully support these initiatives: 9 in 10 respondents either “totally support” or “tend to support” solidarity with countries outside the EU during the pandemic.

Background

European citizens expect the EU to maintain its leadership in providing humanitarian aid when crises strike. In light of this, the EU is giving renewed impetus to its humanitarian aid policy through the adoption of a new Communication.

This is a new strategic vision to strengthen the EU’s humanitarian action. It lays out how the EU and its Member States, together with its partners, can address growing humanitarian needs and support a better delivery of humanitarian aid in the coming years.

Publication date
15/03/2021