Europeans believe health sector should be focus of EU Recovery Funds

The vast majority of Europeans believe that EU aid will make a positive contribution to economic recovery, shows a representative survey conducted by Kantar on behalf of the Vodafone Institute in 15 EU countries.

The Vodafone Institute, the European think-tank of the Vodafone Group, releases new research revealing the European public’s attitudes towards the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).  The survey, conducted by Kantar, reveals the European public’s attitudes towards the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), showing widespread support.

In fact, three out of four people believe digital public services (75%), digital skills (74%) and broadband internet access (73%) are important aspects for the recovery of Europe.

Despite alignment between the European Commission and citizens, public remain sceptical on execution  

With 20% of the RRF fund being directed towards digitalisation, there is clear alignment between the priorities of the European Commission and European citizens according to this new research. However:

  • One of three Europeans are sceptical as to whether all of the allocated money will reach the promised areas and instead be diverted into industry bailouts, furlough schemes and business competition schemes.
  • Citizens in Germany, Greece, Hungary and the UK are most sceptical.
  • Three quarters of Europeans think the Recovery Funds should be tied to certain conditions: 40% vote for strict conditions, while 35% favour more flexible ones. Evidently, the detail matters a great deal to citizens.

Inger Paus, Managing Director of the Vodafone Institute said: “The Digitising Europe Pulse survey underscores that citizens look to their national governments to solve the acute health and economic crisis and demonstrates the value they place on connectivity. The European Commission can play a key role in ensuring citizens voices are heard as the fund moves through assessment and allocation.”

The vast majority of Europeans believe in the success of the Recovery and Resilience Facility. (Photo: gesrey/istock)

Vodafone’s Group External Affairs Director and Chairman of Vodafone Institute, Joakim Reiter said: “As Europe rebuilds after this unprecedented pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to update the fundamentals of the European economy and society. As this latest research demonstrates, citizens believe digital must be at the heart of Europe’s recovery. Citizens also acknowledge the role of the European Union in ensuring that Europe comes out of this crisis stronger, including through the EU recovery funds. Vodafone remains committed in our role to keep society connected, with access to critical digital services and digital skills. But we cannot do this alone and we stand ready to partner with the European Commission and local governments to build a truly inclusive and sustainable future digital society for all Europeans.”

The results are part of the “Digitising Europe Pulse” series. The survey was conducted by Kantar. For this purpose, 15.000 people in 15 EU countries were interviewed via an online-survey.

Digitising Europe Pulse: Focus on the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (PDF)