Two-thirds of EU citizens would like the European Union to intervene more than at present in order to protect the environment, according to a Eurobarometer Survey for the European Parliament issued in April 2017. In this survey, the environment ranks third in the list of areas calling for more EU action, after terrorism and unemployment. In the same survey of 2016, the environment featured in the sixth position.
Despite the economic crisis and against fears that environmental concerns would regress, this year’s survey saw an 8% increase in the opinion that more EU action is needed in protecting the environment.
More specifically, in 2016, 67% of the respondents stated that they would like to see the EU take more action to protect the environment. In most recent survey of April 2017, this percentage rose to 75%.
Survey "Two years until the 2019 European elections - Special Eurobarometer of the European Parliament".
Survey "Europeans 2016: Perceptions and expectations, fight against terrorism and radicalisation - Special Eurobarometer of the European Parliament".
The highest concerns about the need for more EU action on the environment were recorded in the following member states:
- Spain: 87% (+9)
- Portugal: 85% (+15)
- Cyprus: 84% (+2)
- France: 83% (+7)
- Sweden: 83% (=)
- Belgium 81% (+13)
- Netherlands 80% (+11)
- Malta: 80% (+8)
- Italy: 78% (+1)
- Slovenia: 78% (+10)
- Luxemburg: 78% (+6)
- Greece: 77% (+12)
- Romania: 76% (=)
- Finland: 74% (+14)
- Denmark: 84% (+8)
In the shadow of growing political pressures for rollback in vitally significant environmental policies, both the national and the international levels, dynamic movements and massive protests and rallies have turned the public spotlight on pressing environmental problems, most notably climate change. In the same time, successful public campaigns, such as #NatureAlert which defended critical EU nature protection laws against deregulation, have highlighted the importance of Europe’s environmental legislation and policies.
The 2016 and 2017 surveys were based on face-to-face interviews of 27,969 and 27,901 EU citizens respectively.