• Environment as important as economy to EU citizens

    For Europeans, a healthy environment is as important to their quality of life as the state of the economy and social factors.

    [mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]That is a finding from the first Eurobarometer survey to examine attitudes towards the environment since the EU expanded to 25 nations a year ago.

    According to the survey, a large majority of EU citizens (88% of respondents) believe policymakers should take account of environmental concerns when developing policies on the economy and employment. This view is expressed most strongly in the new member states. Asked to rate the influence of economic, social and environmental factors on their quality of life, 72% of citizens said environmental factors influenced it “very much” or “quite a lot”. Economic factors were described in this way by 78%, and social factors ranked as high as environmental (72%).

    The main environmental concerns of Europeans are those that directly affect their lives. Five priorities stand out – water pollution, man-made disasters such as oil spills and industrial accidents, climate change, air pollution, and chemicals. However, there are some significant differences between the former EU-15 and the 10 new member states. For example, climate change is the number one issue in the EU-15 and only on rank 7 in the new members.

    Dudley Curtis, T&E Communications Officer, said: “Once again there seems to be a discrepancy between the kinds of policies Europeans are demanding and what we are seeing coming out of the Commission.”

    A summary of the survey and the full report are available at: https://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/barometer/index.htm

    This news story is taken from the June 2005 edition of T&E Bulletin.