The European Commission has released the first results of the Standard Eurobarometer on public opinion in the European Union for the June-July period.

The findings show that, for Europeans, the most important and current priorities relate to our economic situation, particularly with regards to rising prices, inflation and the cost of living – alongside concerns about addressing the challenges posed by climate change, instability in Member State public finances and an over-stretched health care sector.

These results are indicative of the significant impact that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had on all our lives – causing insecurity, increased danger of poverty and the exacerbation of already existing inequalities.

As we look towards the EU’s post-pandemic recovery, we can already begin to witness some of the initiatives put forward at national and EU-level which are designed to alleviate and rebuild our economic and health care systems.

Whether it’s initiatives such as the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) Action Plan or the Commission’s flagship growth strategy – the European Green Deal.

However, we also know that more measures are needed to ensure a fair post-pandemic recovery that includes the most vulnerable in our societies and one that leaves no one behind.

Indeed, addressing poverty and social exclusion in Europe requires political and institutional commitments that are ambitious and consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals and integrated into all other policies, which is still clearly missing at the current stage.

For example, that is why the Commission’s Green Deal must be delivered and intertwined with a Social Deal – ensuring that those experiencing poverty and social exclusion do not pay the price for the green transition.

For more information on the results of the Standard Eurobarometer survey, please refer to the European Union website here.

You can read Eurodiaconia’s public statement in the lead up to the State of the Union speech, calling for a Green and Social Deal, here.