Bulgaria: 38% of Bulgarians insecure over coronavirus

Bulgaria: 38% of Bulgarians insecure over coronavirus

38% of Bulgarians are feeling insecure over the coronavirus, below the EU average. 70% of Bulgarians believe the EU should be given more power in the fight against COVID-19, according to results of the Kantar study commissioned by the European Parliament.

In the context of the second wave of the coronavirus, two thirds of European citizens are calling for more EU agency and a budget with sufficient resources to deal with the crisis.

The European Parliament published today the full results of its third sociological survey this year on European citizens’ views on the coronavirus crisis and the European Union.

Although 50% of Europeans still experience “insecurity” as a major emotional condition due to the negative economic impact of the pandemic, current data show that more people have a positive view of the EU now than in the Spring. In Bulgaria, the portion of respondents feeling insecure is below the EU average at 38%, while 42% of them, also below the EU average, express hope for improvement.

With a growing number of EU citizens feeling insecure about their future, two-thirds of respondents (66%) agree that the EU should have more power to manage the pandemic. In Bulgaria, 70% of respondents agree with this statement. What is more, the majority of respondents across the EU (54%) believe the Union needs more financial resources to address the effects of the pandemic. 51% of Bulgarian respondents share the same view.

It is vital for EU citizens that EU funds be allocated only to those Member-States that have a functioning judiciary and respect for common European democratic values. More than three quarters of respondents (77%) agree the EU should only provide funding to Member-States, as long as their government implements the rule of law and democratic principles.

The Bulgarian sample’s responses reflect the same view and even exceed the EU average by one percentage point (78%). According to European citizens, the main priority of spending should be public health (54%), followed by economic recovery and new business opportunities (42%), climate change and environmental protection (37%), as well as employment and social issues (35%).

For Bulgarian respondents, priority topics include public health (53%), education and culture (49%), economic recovery and new business opportunities (48%), and finally employment and social issues (37%).

Attitudes towards the EU have ameliorated compared to the first survey in April this year. The share of respondents who maintain a positive attitude towards the EU has steadily increased from just 31% in April 2020 to 41%, according to the current survey.

In Bulgaria, 38% of respondents hold positive views, a 3 percentage-point surge compared to the previous survey. However, the majority of respondents at EU level remain dissatisfied with the level of solidarity or even the lack of solidarity between Member-States.

Approximately half of respondents at European level (49%) report they were satisfied with the measures taken by their governments against the COVID-19 pandemic to date, while a similar percentage (48%) described the measures as unsatisfactory. Negative trends have exacerbated in comparison to the last survey, with waning satisfaction regarding state measures. 32% of Bulgarian respondents approve of the measures taken by the government, while 64% disagree.

More than one third of respondents at European level (39%) and 53% of participants in the Bulgarian sample stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has already affected their personal income. Another 27% of respondents in all Member States say they expect a negative impact on their finances in the future.

In Bulgaria, trends are moving in a similar vein: 26% of respondents state they expect financial problems caused by the pandemic in the future. Data show that young people and families with children are most affected by the crisis: 64% of citizens aged 16 to 34 have already experienced financial hardship in some form, WHILE 27% of respondents with children have resorted to personal savings earlier than planned.

In five of the Member-States, more than half of those surveyed responded that the pandemic had already affected their personal incomes: Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Romania and Bulgaria.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the European Parliament has commissioned three EU polls with particular emphasis on the COVID-19 impact. The latest survey was conducted online (by telephone in Malta) by Kantar between 25 September and 7 October 2020 among 24,812 participants from all 27 Member States.

The survey covers citizens aged between 16 and 64 (16-54 in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia). Quotas for gender, age and region at national level ensure the representativeness of the research. The summary results for the EU are determined by the size of the population of each country surveyed. /ibna