Eurobarometer: 85% of Bulgarians Support Linking EU Funds to the Rule of LawBulgaria in EU | September 10, 2021, Friday // 10:43| views
Four out of five Europeans (81%) believe that the EU should only provide funding to Member States that respect the rule of law and democratic values. This is clear from the latest opinion poll commissioned by the European Parliament.
In Bulgaria, support for this statement is even higher. 85% of Bulgarians surveyed agree that "the EU should provide funds to Member States only if their government applies the rule of law and democratic values."
The results of the survey show an equally high level of support for this position in all EU Member States, with relatively few differences.
"The European Parliament has made it clear that EU reconstruction funds should not be allocated to governments that do not respect fundamental democratic values and do not respect the rule of law. This survey confirms that the vast majority of EU citizens agree with this position. "Those who constantly undermine the values of the European Union should not expect funds from it," said European Parliament President David Sasoli.
According to a Eurobarometer survey, 53% of European citizens fully agree that there should be effective monitoring. In Bulgaria this percentage reaches 60%. And 32% of European citizens (and 29% for Bulgaria) are more likely to agree with this statement. Only 8% of EU respondents on average do not share this opinion.
This is a position shared by the European Parliament, which is currently evaluating the submitted national plans together with the European Commission to ensure that the funds provided will be used in accordance with the objectives of greening, digitization, and sustainability.
Citizens are positive about the implementation of the EU's € 800 billion recovery plan. 60% of European citizens believe that projects under the "NextGenerationEU" program will help their country to overcome the economic and social damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In Bulgaria, their share is 69%.
59% of Europeans also say that NextGenerationEU will help their country be better prepared for future challenges. In view of this, the survey also shows that 53% of European citizens and 62% of Bulgarian respondents have a positive view of the European Union.
The results of the survey also show concerns in a number of European countries about how well and appropriately national governments will use these additional EU funds. For Bulgaria, the share of respondents who express doubts that the national government will be able to properly spend the funds under the recovery plan is 49%.
When asked which issues the European Parliament should set as its political priorities, EU respondents first cited action against climate change, supported by 43% of citizens.
Other priorities mentioned by the respondents are measures to combat poverty and social exclusion (32%), support for the economy and job creation, as well as the fight against terrorism (both 31%). Healthcare, as well as migration and asylum, rank fourth overall, with a share of 27%.
The priorities identified as the most important by Bulgarian respondents are measures to combat poverty and social exclusion (47%), support for the economy and job creation (43%), health care (40%), and action against change in climate remain in fourth place with a share of 28%, followed by measures to combat terrorism and organized crime (26%).
Citizens of Hungary (38%) and Poland (37%) prioritize "democracy and the rule of law", with the EU ranking eighth on average and sixth in Bulgaria with a share of 22%.
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