This national report comes at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic is dominating the political agenda as Ireland (and the world) grapples with trying to manage and contain the spread of the disease. Restrictions on social contact and travel, the wearing of face masks in public, handwashing, and the monitoring and self-isolation of people exposed to, or symptomatic of, the virus are commonplace. Meanwhile, there are strong efforts to alleviate this crisis with vaccines, with several deployed since December 2020.
While the pandemic has undoubtedly been the primary focus of most commentary, this is the first national report since the European Union and the United Kingdom agreed a trade deal in December 2020 setting out the post-Brexit trading relationship between the EU and the UK.
“It has been a difficult year for both Ireland and Europe, and gauging the public sentiment as Irish society gradually re-opens has produced some remarkable and surprising results”, said Andy Klom, Acting Head of the European Commission Representation to Ireland, who moderated the presentation.
This edition of the annual Eurobarometer survey focuses on citizens’ attitudes and trust in the EU, Irish people’s sentiments towards the economy in view of the pandemic, coronavirus related restrictions and evaluations of performance by the national government and the EU concerning the pandemic, as well as attitudes towards coronavirus vaccinations.
The data for this report was gathered in Ireland by Kantar who interviewed 1,094 respondents aged 15+ online between 17 February 2021 and 3 March 2021.1
- 75%have positive image of the EU, the highest proportion of Irish people saying this since autumn 2004, with Ireland ranking second highest across the EU Member States
- 77% agree interests of Ireland are well taken account of in the EU, the highest proportion of any EU Member State
- 74% tend to trust the EU, with Ireland ranking the second most trusting nation of the EU
- 44% think the national economy will get “better”, the second-highest in the EU. Compared to summer 2020, pessimism about the economy’s prospects is down 29-points
- 88% think the restrictions implemented nationally to fight Covid-19 were justified, above the EU average of 73%
- 56% are satisfied with how the EU handled the pandemic
- 70% trust the EU to make the right decisions in the future regarding the coronavirus
- 74% want to receive (or have already received) an authorized Coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible and a further 12% say they wish to receive a vaccine by the end of 2021. Only 4% of Irish people say they never intend to receive an authorized vaccine, among the lowest proportion saying this in the EU.
The report for Ireland can be downloaded here.
- Publication date
- 12 May 2021
- Representation in Ireland