After Bulgaria, Portugal appears, along with Cyprus, as the second country in the European Union (EU) where the population says they feel the impact of the consequences of the war in Ukraine on their standard of living. According to the European Parliament's Spring 2022 Special Eurobarometer, published this Wednesday, 57% of the Portuguese believe that the effects of the Russian invasion have already reduced their standard of living and predict that this will continue throughout 2023, against 40% of the Europeans who say they have already felt the consequences of the conflict.
But it is not only on this issue that the Portuguese distance themselves from the majority of European citizens. As they are among the first to say they feel the consequences of the war, they also look differently at what the EU's priorities should be. While 59% of Europeans believe that freedom and democracy should be a priority even if it affects prices and the cost of living, only 49% of Portuguese want the same. In fact, when asked whether maintaining prices and the cost of living should be a priority even if it affects common European values, 45% of Portuguese believe that it is, against the European average of 39%.
The differences are even more pronounced in terms of what they would like to see as the political priorities of the European Parliament. At the top of the choices is the fight against poverty and social exclusion: 38% of Europeans chose this topic as a priority, against 66% of the Portuguese. This is followed by public health (chosen by 53% of Portuguese against only 35% of Europeans) and support for the economy and creation of new jobs, which is prioritized by 52% of Portuguese against 30% of Europeans. Democracy and the rule of law appear as the third priority in the European average, but for the Portuguese they were the 11th choice.
As for the priority values that must be defended by MEPs, the Portuguese favour the protection of human rights at EU and global level (42% against 27% of Europeans), solidarity between Member States and their regions (29% against 20% of Europeans) and democracy (28% against 38% of Europeans).