A comparative Eurobarometer survey on citizens’ ‘perceptions and expectations’, conducted for the European Parliament in 2016 and 2018, shows that the share of EU citizens who would like the EU to intervene more in the industrial policy has risen from 47 % to 54 %. Although this increase means that a majority of citizens expect intensified EU action, industrial policy is still at the bottom of all the researched areas. Industrial policy is the area with the highest share of citizens who cannot say whether current EU involvement is excessive, adequate or insufficient (20 % in 2018 and 21 % in 2016), and who do not have an opinion on whether the EU should intervene more, less or keep its involvement as it is (14 % in 2018 and 17 % in 2016).
There are some significant differences across Member States with a trend of northern and western Member States expressing weaker support for EU intervention than countries in the south and east. The lowest level of support was registered in Sweden (29 %) and Denmark (30 %), although in both countries the share of people expressing this opinion has grown. The strongest level of support for more EU intervention in this area was registered in Cyprus (82 %), Spain (79 %) and Romania (77 %).