Finns emphasise equality and climate action in EU development policy
The Finns consider that the key themes during Finland’s upcoming Presidency of the Council of the European Union should be the position of women and girls, and climate action. Education is considered the area where Finland can contribute the most in its own development cooperation activities. The results are based on a survey carried out for the Foreign Ministry by Taloustutkimus.
More than a half of the respondents consider that, while holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Finland should focus on activities that promote the position and rights of women and girls, combat climate change and support adaptation to it.
According to the survey, Finns regard development cooperation through the EU increasingly important: 50 per cent of the citizens raised it among the two most important ways of conducting development cooperation.
“The citizens’ views are well in line with the priorities of Finland’s development policy which will give us guidance during the Presidency of the Council of the EU. Responding to the global challenges requires broad shoulders and good cooperation,” says Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.
In an open question set in the survey by Taloustutkimus, the respondents were asked in which area Finland could help developing countries the most. As many as 46 per cent of the respondents were of the opinion that education, skills and expertise, and occupational skills were the most important matters.
Education and teaching were at the top also when asked about the sectors in which Finland has reached the best results: 65 per cent of the respondents ticked education and training among the alternatives presented.
The respondents considered that the poorest results in development cooperation have been reached in the promotion of democracy and good governance and in the development of taxation.
According to the results of the survey, there is still strong public support for development cooperation in principle. A total of 89 per cent of the respondents consider that development cooperation is very important or fairly important; in 2018, the corresponding figure was 88 per cent. The strongest supporters are people in the age group under 25.
In addition, the citizens are in favour of increasing funding for development cooperation activities. As many as 61 per cent of the respondents would raise the level of development cooperation appropriations a little, 18 per cent would maintain the current level of funding, 7 per cent would make minor or significant cuts, and 2 per cent of the respondents would stop funding completely.
Taloustutkimus conducted the survey in the form of face-to-face interviews in May and June 2019. A total of 1000 persons in different parts of Finland were interviewed. With a 3 per cent margin of error, the confidence interval (CI) of the survey results is at 95 per cent.
Requests for interviews of Minister Skinnari should be addressed to Anni Mäkeläinen, Attaché, tel. +358 50 465 4555, firstname.lastname@example.org
The survey report, including its infographics: [email protected], tel. +358 295 350 368.