Oct 30, 2009

GMES Barometer

Estimated Article Reading Time: 2 min.

GMES will provide services considered as very important for 58% of EU citizens and quite important for 32% of them

The Flash Eurobarometer Space activities of the European Union (Flash No 272) was conducted, between 3 and 7 July 2009, in order to examine EU citizens’ opinions and to assess: a) their awareness of space activities of Europe and the European Union, b) their perception of these activities, and c) their general attitude toward space exploration.

Over 25,000 randomly selected citizens aged 15 years and over were interviewed in the 27 EU Member States. Interviews were predominantly carried out by fixed-line telephone, reaching ca. 1,000 EU citizens in each country (the size of the sample was 500 in Luxembourg, Malta and Cyprus).

Key findings include:

  • The majority of European Union citizens regard European space activities as important from the perspective of the EU’s future global role: one in five citizens considered such activities very important (20%) and a further 43% felt that space activities are important.
  • When asked about the importance of developing various space-based applications for Europe, EU respondents were most keen on (further) developing environmental/natural monitoring systems: 58% found this very important. Regarding other services the mood remained generally positive; the proportion considering these very important remains in the one-quarter to one-third range (satellite-based communications, positioning system and satellite-based monitoring to improve citizens’ security)
  • EU citizens generally acknowledged that there may be various benefits related to space exploration (it may add to human knowledge, it may help to protect our planet, it may help to find new raw materials and energy sources and it may boost economy through technological innovations), and showed a widespread support to extend EU activities in space exploration.
  • 26% of all Europeans thought that the EU should definitely do more in the field of space exploration, and 38% felt that it should perhaps put more emphasis on this field. 30% provided a negative response to this question (28% opposed more involvement and 2% indicated that it does not matter for them whether or not the EU is more active in space exploration).
  • Generally speaking there is balance between EU citizens that – in these times of economic and financial crisis – support and do not support an increase in the EU budget devoted to space activities. The 20% who felt that more budgetary resources should be allocated to space activities were outweighed – although only by a slim margin – by those who felt that the EU should reduce such spending (23%). The plurality (43%) felt that the current budget should be maintained. Overall there is strong support for EU funding of space activities at its current level (43%) or at increased level (20%).

More information is available here