Brussels, 25 February 2005
The European public expects the European Union to play a central role in development cooperation, especially in Africa. However, according to Eurobarometer, public awareness of with Commission activities in this field as well as of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) is limited. It is the first time that this two-yearly opinion poll on development policy has covered the 25 EU Member States.
It is also the first time that Eurobarometer has included questions on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which include halving extreme poverty (a billion people who live on less than one dollar a day) and universal access to primary education in 2015.
The European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, has undertaken to “increase EU public awareness of our activities as well as of our Millennium Development Goals. European taxpayers have the right to know how their money is being spent, how we help the developing countries, how we are fighting against poverty and infectious diseases and what we are doing to promote good governance, democracy and fundamental rights”.
Louis Michel renewed his call for a “genuine European development strategy. While respecting the sharing of competence with the Member States, I advocate better coordination and shared objectives for our cooperation. That is my aim: greater coherence, greater coordination and greater visibility. And, in the light of this survey, this is what our fellow-citizens expect”.
This survey was devised in cooperation with the OECD and conducted between 22 November and 19 December 2004. A total of 24 999 people of over 15 years of age were interviewed in the 25 Member States of the EU.
All the investigations Eurobarometer are available on the website: