Representation in United Kingdom

Eurobarometer survey shows overwhelming UK public support for EU role in emergency response


Emergency response

The European Commission has published the results of a Eurobarometer survey of public attitudes to the EU's role in emergency response. 83% of UK respondents felt it important that the EU funds humanitarian aid activities (compared to 88% of EU respondents) and almost 9 out of 10 (89%) UK respondents said it was important that the EU helps to coordinate the response to disasters in the EU.


Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management said: "The 2017 results show a continuing and overwhelming level of public support for EU action on humanitarian aid and civil protection. The European Union is a global humanitarian leader. When a disaster hits, there are no borders and the public support the EU helping in emergency response both at home and abroad. I am determined that the Commission will continue to deliver on this vote of confidence by European citizens".

Other UK findings:

  • Humanitarian aid: asked about the current pressure on Europe's public finances, 81% supported the continued funding of EU humanitarian aid, and 54% felt the humanitarian aid was more efficient provided by the EU than by individual countries. An overwhelming majority (88%) also believe that EU should fund education for children and young people affected by crises, and 84% support the sending of EU volunteers abroad;
  • Civil protection: 87% feel that if an emergency were to occur in their country, they would expect another EU country to help. 89% also believe that the EU should help any country in the world hit by disasters by sending experts and equipment. A large majority (84%) also believes that there should be an EU civil protection policy, as crises can have an impact across borders, and 77% think that a coordinated EU action in dealing with disasters is more effective than actions by individual countries;
  • Prevention and preparedness for disasters: 44% do not think that enough is being done in the UK to prevent or prepare for emergencies;
  • Public awareness: UK citizens showed significant awareness of EU humanitarian aid activities (65%) and of the EU's coordination role in response to disasters in the EU (64%).

The EU as a whole — the European Commission together with the member states — is the world's largest humanitarian aid donor. The European Commission provides life-saving assistance around the world. This assistance is carried out in partnership with UN agencies, NGOs and international organisations such as the Red Cross.

In addition, the EU helps to coordinate the response to disasters through its Civil Protection Mechanism.

More information

UK factsheet