Europeans, development aid and the Millennium ... ... Special Eurobarometer 352 Europeans, development

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  • Special Eurobarometer 352

    Europeans, development aid and the Millennium Development Goals

    Fieldwork: June 2010

    Publication: September 2010

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    This survey was requested by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Development and Relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific States and coordinated by the Directorate-General for Communication (“Research and Speechwriting" Unit). This document does not represent the point of view of the European Commission. The interpretations and opinions contained in it are solely those of the authors.

    European Commission

  • Special Eurobarometer 352

    Europeans, development aid and the Millennium Development Goals

    Conducted by TNS Opinion & Social at the request of the European Commission’s Directorate-General

    for Development and Relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific States

    Survey co-ordinated by the Directorate-General for

    Communication

    TNS Opinion & Social Avenue Herrmann Debroux, 40

    1160 Brussels Belgium

  • Special EUROBAROMETER 352 “EUROPEANS, DEVELOPMENT AID AND THE MDGs”

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    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    INTRODUCTION...............................................................................................2

    1. DESPITE THE ON-GOING ECONOMIC CRISIS, THE IMPORTANCE OF DEVELOPMENT AID REMAINS HIGH............................................................8

    2. WORKING TOGETHER BRINGS ADDED VALUE...........................................13

    3. EUROPEANS ARE PERSONALLY COMMITTED BUT AT DIFFERENT LEVELS..17

    4. POVERTY AND ECONOMIC CRISIS: KEY CHALLENGES...............................25

    5. INCREASING DEVELOPMENT AID ENDORSED BUT MORE CAUTIOUSLY THAN BEFORE...........................................................................................31

    6. EU TRADE AND FINANCE MEASURES AS WELL AS PEACE BUILDING POLICIES SUPPORT DEVELOPING COUNTRIES .........................................39

    7. LARGE INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS SEEN AS BEST PLACED TO GIVE HELP ................................................................................................44

    CONCLUSIONS...............................................................................................51

    ANNEX

    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

    QUESTIONNAIRE

    TABLES

  • Special EUROBAROMETER 352 “EUROPEANS, DEVELOPMENT AID AND THE MDGs”

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    INTRODUCTION

    This report examines European public opinion on development policy in general and

    the EU’s role as aid donor in particular. Over 26,500 people living in the 27 EU

    member states were surveyed in June 20101.

    The results of the survey can be seen as a barometer of current European attitudes

    toward development in view of two forthcoming events:

    • A UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals2 will take place in

    September 2010, just five years ahead of the 2015 deadline of achieving the

    Millennium Development Goals. The 8 Millennium Development Goals were set

    by world leaders in the year 2000. This survey gauges the commitment of the

    European public at the moment when – with 5 years to go – achievement of the

    MDGs seems to be in jeopardy. Whilst some – MDG 1 eradication of poverty and

    MDG 2 access to primary education – seem to be on track, others are far from

    the target. In particular MDG 5 – 'to reduce by three quarters the maternal

    mortality rate' – is way off track with 1,500 women dying every day of

    complications relating to pregnancy and childbirth; 95 per cent of these deaths

    occur in Africa or in Asia.

    • Review of EU development policy: In autumn 2010, the European

    Commission will issue a Green Paper on the ‘Future of Development

    Policy’. This present survey pinpoints some of the challenges that EU policy

    makers are facing particularly in communicating the EU’s contribution in this

    area to the general public.

    This present publication continues a series of reports exploring European awareness

    of development cooperation issues since 2004. The last two surveys3 have been

    carried out in the context of the worst world economic slump since the 1930’s.

    1 Full methodological information can be found in the Technical Note annexed to the end of this report.

    2 http://www.un.org/en/mdg/summit2010/index.shtml

    3 The most recent study was published in October 2009: Special Eurobarometer 318 ‘Development Aid in

    Times of Economic Turmoil’ in http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_318_en.pdf

  • Special EUROBAROMETER 352 “EUROPEANS, DEVELOPMENT AID AND THE MDGs”

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    While countries are fighting against soaring unemployment rates and introducing

    austerity measures in order to restore growth, development aid was expected to be

    one of the evident ‘scapegoats’ losing importance when the minds of Europeans are

    occupied with issues closer to home.

    The current study took place against the background of significant public concerns

    about the stability of European economies, triggered by the sovereign debt crisis in

    Greece and the responses of the EU and Member State governments. This is in

    contrast to the 2009 study where the focus of public attention was more on the

    global effects of the financial crisis and looking for the first signs of economic

    recovery in Europe.

    Despite the economic context the results of this study show that Europeans remain

    staunch supporters of development aid and they continue to back the EU strategy

    of increasing development aid as promised. Outside official development aid

    programmes, 30% of Europeans participate personally in helping poor countries

    either by donating money or volunteering in relevant organizations.

    This is not to say that the economic turmoil is passing without a trace. While the

    generic indicator of perceived importance measuring the value basis of

    development aid shows a positive change since 2009, the more concrete question

    on the acceptable level of EU development aid reveals that, when it comes to

    money, people are not as willing as they were 12 months ago to pass it to poorer

    countries. Furthermore, the economic crisis is cited as the second most serious

    problem facing the developing world, ahead of more fundamental and far-reaching

    humanitarian needs such as food and health issues – perhaps shortsightedly

    reflecting European domestic struggles rather than a real understanding of

    problems in the developing world.

    This survey also reconfirms the ‘communication challenge’ that the EU seems to be

    facing when it comes to its visibility and conspicuousness as a development aid

    actor. Even with the strong support and pro-EU cooperation stance of the European

    public, the largest aid donor of the world is still under-recognised by its citizens.

    Also a significant share – 21% - of Europeans remains indifferent when it comes to

    helping the developing world.

  • Special EUROBAROMETER 352 “EUROPEANS, DEVELOPMENT AID AND THE MDGs”

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    All things considered it can be said that the strong ethical value basis of European

    development aid is largely unaffected by economic cycles; Europeans feel

    responsible for helping their more disadvantaged counterparts. Yet, when the gaze

    of Europeans is turned to domestic struggles, fewer are ready to concretely act on

    development aid challenges than in periods of economic prosperity.

    * * *

    The report details the EU-wide findings as well as country-by-country breakdowns.

    Where relevant, comparisons are made with previous surveys and background data

    is introduced to place the results in the wider socio-economic context. Socio-

    demographic variables are also taken into account in the analysis.

    In this report, the countries are represented by their official abbreviations. The

    abbreviations used in this report correspond to:

    ABBREVIATIONS

    EU27 European Union – 27 member states

    EU15 The fifteen member states that were EU Members prior to the accession of ten

    candidate countries on 1 May 2004

    NMS12 The twelve member states that became EU Members in the 2004 or 2007

    enlargement waves are referred to as NMS12 (New member states 12)

    DK/NA Don’t know / No answer

    BE Belgium

    BG Bulgaria

    CZ Czech Republic

    DK Denmark

    DE Germany

    EE Estonia

    EL Greece

    ES Spain

    FR France

    IE Ireland

    IT Italy

    CY Republic of Cyprus

    LT Lithuania

    LV Latvia

    LU Luxembourg

    HU Hungary

    MT Malta

  • Special EUROBAROMETER 352 “EUROPEANS, DEVELOPMENT AID AND THE MDGs”

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    NL The Netherlands

    AT Aus

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