According to a new Eurobarometer survey of the European Parliament on ‘perceptions and expectations’, 50% of EU citizens surveyed would like the EU to intervene more in foreign policy. The differences across Member States are significant, with the strongest support for increased EU action in Cyprus (77%), Spain (66%) and Greece (64%). The weakest support for increased EU involvement in foreign policy is shared by citizens from Denmark (31%), Sweden (35%) and Finland (39%). Some 11% of EU citizens would like to see less EU involvement in foreign policy, which is one of the highest results among the areas surveyed. When asked about their evaluation of current EU involvement in foreign policy, 40% of EU citizens say it is insufficient while almost the same proportion of citizens (37%) evaluate it as adequate. This is one of the policy areas with the highest proportion of citizens not able to evaluate the current involvement of the EU (17% answered ‘do not know’). There is a gap between the perception of current EU involvement in foreign policy and the expectations of citizens in that area in only some Member States, which tend to be in the southern part of the continent. However, the study as a whole shows that there are significantly higher expectations for EU involvement in specific aspects of foreign policy rather than ‘foreign policy’ as a whole, e.g. migration, promotion of peace and democracy in the world, security and defence policy.
The strongest support for more EU involvement in foreign policy is from women between 35 and 54 years old and men between 45 and 74 years old.