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Public expectations and EU commitment regarding security and defence

Public expectations and EU commitment regarding security and defence

Public expectations and EU commitment regarding security and defence

Approximately two thirds of EU citizens would like to see greater EU engagement in matters of security and defence policy, according to a new Eurobarometer survey of the European Parliament on ‘perceptions and expectations’. This is significant support, but still somewhat lower than the support for increased EU action on more concrete issues perceived as related to security, such as terrorism and migration. Support is very unevenly spread across the EU. It is lowest in Denmark (40%), Sweden (52%), Germany (55%) and the UK (56%), none of them is directly exposed to the Union’s southern or eastern external borders, and, as a whole, strongest in Cyprus (88%). About 51% of EU citizens deem the EU’s current involvement in this policy area as insufficient. One particular issue closely related to the issue of the EU’s involvement in security and defence is the mutual assistance clause, requiring Member States to help each other in crises. Only 31% of EU citizens are aware of this clause, yet 85% of those who are aware of it deem it good or very good. Support for a greater EU role in security and defence is weakest among women and men under 24 and above 75 years of age.

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