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European citizens believe health sector, small business, creating new jobs and digital should be focus of EU pandemic Recovery Funds

4 Feb 2021Digital Society
5 minute read
  • <ul class="col-xs-12 col-sm-12 col-lg-12">
  • According to a new survey of 15,000 Europeans from Vodafone’s think tank, the Vodafone Institute, conducted by Kantar, 80% of Europeans are aware of the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).
  • Almost 70% think it is an effective way of helping European countries manage their recovery.
  • The vast majority believe the scheme should most urgently support the health sector (92%), create opportunities for small businesses (88%) and generate new jobs (86%),
  • However, one in three are sceptical their country will divert the money into unagreed areas.
  • Three quarters think digital public services, digital skills and broadband internet access are important aspects for the recovery.</ul>

Brussels, 4 February 2021: Vodafone, the largest mobile and fixed network operator in Europe, today releases new research revealing the European public’s attitudes towards the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). Commissioned by its think tank, the Vodafone Institute, and conducted by Kantar, it reveals the European public’s attitudes towards the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), showing widespread support. In fact, three out of four people believe digital public services (75%), digital skills (74%) and broadband internet access (73%) are important aspects for the recovery of Europe.

Despite alignment between the European Commission and citizens, public remain sceptical on execution

With 20% of the RRF fund being directed towards digitalisation, there is clear alignment between the priorities of the European Commission and European citizens according to this new research. However:

  • One of three Europeans are sceptical as to whether all of the allocated money will reach the promised areas and instead be diverted into industry bailouts, furlough schemes and business competition schemes.
  • Citizens in Germany, Greece, Hungary and the UK are most sceptical.
  • Three quarters of Europeans think the Recovery Funds should be tied to certain conditions: 40% vote for strict conditions, while 35% favour more flexible ones. Evidently, the detail matters a great deal to citizens.

Inger Paus, Managing Director of the Vodafone Institute said: “The Digitising Europe Pulse survey underscores that citizens look to their national governments to solve the acute health and economic crisis and demonstrates the value they place on connectivity. The European Commission can play a key role in ensuring citizens voices are heard as the fund moves through assessment and allocation.”

Vodafone’s Group External Affairs Director and Chairman of Vodafone Institute, Joakim Reiter said: “As Europe rebuilds after this unprecedented pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to update the fundamentals of the European economy and society. As this latest research demonstrates, citizens believe digital must be at the heart of Europe’s recovery. Citizens also acknowledge the role of the European Union in ensuring that Europe comes out of this crisis stronger, including through the EU recovery funds. Vodafone remains committed in our role to keep society connected, with access to critical digital services and digital skills. But we cannot do this alone and we stand ready to partner with the European Commission and local governments to build a truly inclusive and sustainable future digital society for all Europeans.”

The full report and imagery can be found here.


An online survey conducted by Kantar of over 15,000 citizens from across 15 European countries including: Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, UK. There was a sample size of at least 1,000 interviews per country (in total 15,008 interviews) and all participants were aged 16 years or older. This research was conducted between 07.12. – 18.12.2020.

About Vodafone

Vodafone is a leading telecommunications company in Europe and Africa. Our purpose is to “connect for a better future” and our expertise and scale gives us a unique opportunity to drive positive change for society. Our networks keep family, friends, businesses and governments connected and – as COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated – we play a vital role in keeping economies running and the functioning of critical sectors like education and healthcare.

Vodafone is the largest mobile and fixed network operator in Europe and a leading global IoT connectivity provider. Our M-Pesa technology platform in Africa enables over 45m people to benefit from access to mobile payments and financial services. We operate mobile and fixed networks in 21 countries and partner with mobile networks in 48 more. As of 30 September 2020 we had over 300m mobile customers, more than 27m fixed broadband customers, over 22m TV customers and we connected more than 112m IoT devices.

We support diversity and inclusion through our maternity and parental leave policies, empowering women through connectivity and improving access to education and digital skills for women, girls, and society at large. We are respectful of all individuals, irrespective of race, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, belief, culture or religion.

Vodafone is also taking significant steps to reduce our impact on our planet by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2025 and becoming net zero by 2040, purchasing 100% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and reusing, reselling or recycling 100% of our redundant network equipment.

For more information, please visit, follow us on Twitter at @VodafoneGroup or connect with us on LinkedIn at

About Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications

The Institute is Vodafone’s think-tank. We explore the potential and responsible use of digital technologies for innovation, growth and sustainable social impact. Through research and events, we provide thought leadership and offer a platform for dialogue between business, academia and politics.

We are committed to improving access to technology for all parts of society, developing and supporting projects on the ground for female empowerment and digital education. The wide-ranging expertise of the Advisory Board members reflects the Institute’s intention to act as a cross–sectoral platform.

For more information, please visit, follow us on Twitter at @vf_institute or connect with us on LinkedIn at

About Kantar

Kantar is the world’s leading evidence-based insights and consulting company. We have a complete, unique and rounded understanding of how people think, feel and act; globally and locally in over 90 markets. By combining the deep expertise of our people, our data resources and benchmarks, our innovative analytics and technology, we help our clients understand people and inspire growth.

For further information:

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