New research reveals wide support for the European public’s attitudes towards the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).
Three out of four people believe digital public services (75%), digital skills (74%) and broadband internet access (73%) are important aspects for the recovery of Europe.
But the report says that the public remain sceptical on execution of the plan.
With 20% of the RRF fund being directed towards digitalisation, there is “clear alignment” between the priorities of the European Commission and European citizens according to the report.
It says, however, that:
One of three Europeans are sceptical as to whether all of the allocated money will reach the promised areas and instead be diverted into industry bailouts, furlough schemes and business competition schemes;
Citizens in Germany, Greece, Hungary and the UK are most sceptical.
Three quarters of Europeans think the Recovery Funds should be tied to certain conditions: 40% vote for strict conditions, while 35% favour more flexible ones. Evidently, the detail matters a great deal to citizens;
Inger Paus, Managing Director of the Vodafone Institute, Vodafone’s think tank which conducted the research, said: “The Digitising Europe Pulse survey underscores that citizens look to their national governments to solve the acute health and economic crisis and demonstrates the value they place on connectivity. The European Commission can play a key role in ensuring citizens voices are heard as the fund moves through assessment and allocation.”
Vodafone’s Group External Affairs Director and Chairman of Vodafone Institute, Joakim Reiter said: “As Europe rebuilds after this unprecedented pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to update the fundamentals of the European economy and society. As this latest research demonstrates, citizens believe digital must be at the heart of Europe’s recovery.
“Citizens also acknowledge the role of the European Union in ensuring that Europe comes out of this crisis stronger, including through the EU recovery funds. Vodafone remains committed in our role to keep society connected, with access to critical digital services and digital skills. But we cannot do this alone and we stand ready to partner with the European Commission and local governments to build a truly inclusive and sustainable future digital society for all Europeans.”
The online survey conducted by Kantar involved over 15,000 citizens from across 15 European countries including: Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, UK. There was a sample size of at least 1,000 interviews per country (in total 15,008 interviews) and all participants were aged 16 years or older.