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Public expectations and EU commitment on environmental protection

Public expectations and EU commitment on environmental protection

Public expectations and EU commitment on environmental protection

Environmental concerns have been debated intensively at EU level for many years now. As a result, the EU has a broad policy in the area. According to a new Eurobarometer survey of the European Parliament on ‘perceptions and expectations’, two thirds of EU citizens would like to see even stronger EU involvement in environmental protection and more than half (52%) consider current EU action insufficient. In past years, when EU citizens were asked about the policy areas they prefer the EU budget to be spent on, environmental protection was the fifth or sixth most preferred area. However, support for spending in this area is on a slight decline – 23% perceived it as a top priority spending category in 2008, 22% in 2011 and 20% in 2015 (Eurobarometer data). Either because EU environmental policy has already been further developed, or because citizens have other concerns which have perhaps taken priority, the gap between citizens’ expectations and EU environmental action is slowly shrinking, but a gap nevertheless remains.

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