An overwhelming majority of European citizens consider that agriculture and the rural environment are vital issues for Europe's future (average 90% – ranging from 96% in Greece to 80% in the United Kingdom).
This year's survey also included a new series of questions about agriculture and climate change. On this point, almost half the respondents (46%) believe that agriculture has already made a major contribution to combating climate change. A large majority (82%) agree that the EU must help farmers to change the way they work in order to combat climate change. A similar proportion of respondents (77%) believe that agriculture will be greatly affected by climate change over the next few years and two thirds (61%) do not believe that agriculture is one of the principal causes of climate change.
The recognition of the fundamental role of agriculture in Europe explains the high level of support among those polled for maintaining the subsidies paid to farmers (83%). The vast majority of people interviewed (68%) also consider the CAP budget to be either adequate or insufficient, compared with only 12% who believe it is too high. Looking ahead, 72% take the view that financial assistance to farmers in the European Union over the next ten years should increase or remain more or less the same. The percentage of people who think the budget for agricultural policy should increase has been rising for the last 3 years.