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Executive Department for
Press, Communication and Marketing

Adolf-Reichwein-Straße 2a
Gebäude AVZ (Gebäudeteil AR-NA)
57068 Siegen

Phone:    +49 (0)271/740-4915
Fax.:    +49 (0)271/740-4911
E-Mail:  presse@uni-siegen.de

Solidarity in times of crisis?

Survey results released today through the TransSOL project show that despite growing support for anti-EU and populist parties, European citizens remain broadly committed to the principle of solidarity, both towards EU citizens and beyond. This commitment is not absolute however and, in times of crisis, bonds are being tested.

Conducted in late 2016 this survey of 16,000 citizens in 7 EU countries (France, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Italy, the UK and Poland) and Switzerland was designed to take the temperature of the support of European citizens for solidarity, for continued EU membership, and for migrants and refugees.
Key findings of this survey show that support for solidarity remains high amongst Europeans. This includes:

•    Almost 2/3rds of respondents support the EU continuing to provide development aid for non-EU countries

•    Almost 70% of respondents state they are in favour of redistributive public policies – the traditional European social model.

•    Many Europeans are actively engaged in solidarity initiatives, from donating money and time, to working with voluntary organisations both in support of their fellow-nationals and in support of other EU and non-EU citizens

However, findings also indicate the fault lines that risk undermining solidarity in the EU, including:

•    Weaker levels of support for EU membership in France, Italy and the UK than other areas of Europe

•    Results indicating that if a referendum were held today, Greeks would vote to leave the EU by a margin of 46% to 38%

•    Suggestions that solidarity may be conditional, with 2 in 5 respondents suggesting that social assistance should only be provided to migrants who have worked and paid taxes and almost one third saying social assistance should only come with citizenship.

•    Almost 1 in 2 support limits or prohibitions on non-EU migration and little more than 1 out of every 8 persons is in favour of accepting more Syrian refugees than are currently taken in by their country

Note on the methodology
A specialised polling company (INFO GmbH) carried out the survey and the same questionnaire was administered in the relevant languages to approximately 2,000 respondents in each of the countries of the project (to a total of 16,000 respondents). Respondent samples were matched to national statistics with quotas for education, age, gender and region and population weights are applied in the analyses presented in this report.

The full report and analysis, including tables of results by question and country, can be found at transsol.eu. This project is funded through the Horizon2020 program of the European Union.

Press contact
Jackson Oldfield
University of Siegen
+49 176 628 70 877