Wed, 02 Dec 2020

BRUSSELS, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- The general economic situation, public finances situation, immigration and health are the top concerns of European Union (EU) citizens, according to a Standard Eurobarometer survey published on Friday.

Conducted in July and August among almost 27,000 people, the survey finds that 64 percent of Europeans thought that their country's economic situation was "bad," and 42 percent thought that their country's economy would recover from the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic in 2023 or later.

As a result of the pandemic and its economic impact, the economic situation appeared to be the most pressing concern for EU citizens from 10 countries, with the highest proportions in Ireland (47 percent), Spain (43 percent), Italy (42 percent) and the Netherlands (41 percent). The economic situation was the second most pressing issue in another 14 countries and the third most mentioned in the remaining three countries.

The state of EU member states' public finances and immigration came in joint second place. The finances issue topped the list of concerns in Finland, while immigration was the main concern in Malta, with 61 percent of respondents from the island saying it was one of their major concerns.

In the midst of the pandemic, health was the fourth most mentioned concern at EU level, with 22 percent of Europeans saying this was their concern. The issue of the environment and climate followed with 20 percent while unemployment came next with 17 percent.

Established in 1974, the Standard Eurobarometer has been conducted and published twice a year. Each survey consists of approximately 1,000 interviews per country. Immigration and climate change remained the top concerns of EU citizens in the surveys in 2019.

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