During the European Development Days (EDDs) in Brussels on 26-27 November 2013, an annual event devoted to development issues, the Eurobarometer published results from a survey "EU Development Aid and the Millennium Development Goals".
The Eurobarometer carried out over 27 thousand surveys in 28 EU countries. About 1000 people from Poland were surveyed. The questionnaire included questions concerning EU citizens’ opinions about the future of development aid, their own commitment in helping people in developing countries and aid priorities for the next years.
The survey is a part of the discussion concerning the direction of the EU development aid after 2015, when the Millennium Development Goals announced by the United Nations in 2000 will seize to be binding, which was one of the main points of the debate during the European Development Days this year. The Barometer public opinion research will constitute an important contribution to preparation of the program of the European Year for Development 2015.
The results obtained indicate that throughout the European Union the awareness of developmental problems and poverty in the world is increasing. More and more respondents claim that development aid should be one of the priorities of the EU. Despite the economic crisis, as compared to the last year, the percentage of people ready to pay more for products supporting developing countries (including groceries) increased by 4 percent points and currently amounts to 48%. 83% of the people surveyed, on the other hand, declared that it is important to help countries struggling with poverty and developmental problems, and 61% are of the opinion that aid should be increased.
In Poland the support for development policy is also at a very high level (70%), above the European average. In comparison to the rest of the EU countries, Poland comes out a little bit worse when it comes to the personal commitment in helping other people. 61% of Poles are not willing to pay more for groceries if they know that the income will go to the developing countries, and 56% think that an individual cannot play a significant role in the fight against poverty.
Currently in the EU the support for development aid remains at a high level. Personal commitment of the citizens to development is increasing, especially among young people at the age of 15-24.
According to the survey, the Millennium Development Goals are being poorly recognized in Europe. The most difficult challenges for the next years, according to the people who participated in the surveys, are eradicating poverty, achieving gender equality and stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS.