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Knowledge and perception of European Union action and the European funds among the French population In partnership with the Ministry for the economy,

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Presentation on theme: "Knowledge and perception of European Union action and the European funds among the French population In partnership with the Ministry for the economy,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Knowledge and perception of European Union action and the European funds among the French population In partnership with the Ministry for the economy, industry and employment, the Ministry for the interior, overseas territories and collectivities, and the Ministry for agriculture and fishing This survey was carried out by Ifop as part of the inter-ministerial communication plan on projects in France which are jointly funded with the European Union. The survey has been co-funded by the European Union. INFORM network meeting - European Commission - June 17 2008

2 Contents Methodology A - Lessons from the qualitative study –A1. The French and the European Union: still a distant and distrustful relationship –A2. The European funds: a very low level of awareness –A3. The provision of information stimulates curiosity but not the cohesion desired –A4. Expectations in the area of communication B - Lessons from the quantitative study –B1. The relationship with Europe –B2. Information on the assistance and the measures provided by the European Union –B3. The European funds C - Conclusion

3 Methodology IFOP was responsible for designing the survey's methodology and undertaking the survey and did so in constant liaison with the ministerial partners involved in the inter-ministerial communication plan. On their request, the study process on European Union action was performed at a national and a regional level.

4 Methodology Qualitative phaseQuantitative phase Confirm or inform about the lessons from the qualitative study by... measuring people's awareness of the European funds assessing the levels of knowledge determining the impact felt regarding European intervention Create areas for consideration and make operational recommendations to optimise communication on the European funds and how they are applied at a regional level Measure the level of awareness and collect perceptions on the European funds on the basis of... examples of specific achievements communication channels on the European funds A study process on European Union action at a national and a regional level.

5 Methodological note on the qualitative survey Samples: Six group meetings distributed accordingly: Île-de-France (Greater Paris): Five men, five women, aged between 20 and 28 years, students, young people looking for work and young people in work, of whom 2/3 voted 'no' at the constitutional treaty referendum and who live in the Seine-Saint-Denis département. Rhône-Alpes: Five men, five women, aged between 35 and 55 years, with professional occupations, senior managers and intermediate professions, of whom 2/3 voted 'yes' at the constitutional treaty referendum and who live in Grenoble and the surrounding area. Nord-Pas-de-Calais: Five men, five women, aged between 25 and 50 years, workers and employees, of whom 2/3 voted 'no' at the constitutional treaty referendum and who live in the region of Valenciennes. Limousin: Five men, five women, aged between 30 and 60 years, farmers, craftsmen and intermediate professions who live in a rural area and of whom 2/3 voted 'no' at the constitutional treaty referendum and who live around Guéret. Brittany: Five men, five women, aged between 25 and 50 years, employees and intermediate professions, of whom 2/3 voted 'yes' at the constitutional treaty referendum and who live in Lorient and the surrounding area. Martinique: Five men, five women, aged between 25 and 50 years, employees, of whom 2/3 voted 'yes' at the constitutional treaty referendum. Carried out on:January 10 to 22 2008

6 Methodological note on the quantitative survey Sample: Sample of 5211 people who are representative of the French population aged 18 years or over. The quota method has ensured the representativeness of the sample (gender, age and profession of the interviewee) following stratification by administrative region and agglomeration category for mainland France and following stratification by département for the overseas départements. Within this sample, the weight of each overseas region or département was considered to benefit from a sufficient number of interviews (200) for each geographical unit. Each overseas region and département was then returned to its actual weight in the French population when the results were processed digitally. Collection method: The interviews were held over the phone while the interviewees were at home. Carried out on:February 18 to March 1 2008

7 A. Lessons from the qualitative study

8 A1. The French and the European Union: still a distant and distrustful relationship

9 An attractive and reassuring area of possibilities... Among our various target groups, the European Union is seen as a rich universe of positive factors. The targets value its perceived and potential assets, which function as reassuring elements in today's disconcerting world. While the European Union is considered by many (especially among the young generations and high income targets) as an enlarged and attractive area of possibilities, particularly in terms of the mobility that it offers over a wide geographic area, it is mainly its 'powerful' dimension that dominates the positive perceptions:  Undeniable economic strength, and also reassuring monetary strength through a strong euro (against the dollar), and finally bolstered political and diplomatic strength, the European Union is reassuring because it allows countries to make their presence felt in a globalised economy, particularly given the preponderance of the US and 'Asian giants';  The cooperation and sharing of know-how, efforts and methods which are associated with the building of the European Union are also highly valued. Not only do they reassure targets on the capacity of the EU to fight certain current threats (terrorism), they also offer an encouraging outlook in terms of economic and cultural exchanges;  Finally, as an inter-state area of solidarity, the European Union plays a part in ensuring its member states' economic and political stability. The successful integration of Spain and Ireland let the most optimistic foresee a similar outcome for Central and Eastern European countries which have recently joined. 'Strong, like a lion, we feel stronger, grouped' (Workers and employees, Valenciennes) 'Through its weight, it can act as a balance between the three world powers' (Farmers and craftsmen, Guéret) 'A block, unification, a jigsaw with different elements but which give a whole' (Workers and employees, Valenciennes)

10 ...but a low level of knowledge and proximity, a source of fear and questioning Criticism and scepticism of the European Union go beyond the perceived lack of tangible benefits and the uncovering of its contradictions. For many, the Union carries with it a large number of threats which are even more worrying as they affect people on an individual and a daily level and also symbolically and collectively:  The perceived consequences of adopting the euro on purchasing power and the ongoing dissatisfaction with this issue were expressed on many occasions and embody the reservations and even the discontent expressed towards the Union, especially among employees and workers;  Fears of social dumping, the risk of relocalisations and the rise in the level of unemployment quickly follow on in the targets' statements; these fears are stoked by the differences which exist in relation to new members, particularly regarding the cost of labour;  On more of a symbolic level, the issue arises of one's identity being diluted and the fear of losing both a national and a regional identity. 'The rise in prices linked to the euro has meant we are the losers; buying power has dropped with the euro' (Workers and employees, Valenciennes) 'Relocalisation does not help solve the problem of unemployment or work problems as all of the borders are open and anyone can come in' (Employees, Martinique) 'Additional constraints in the area of standards: we will no longer have the right to make certain cheeses with raw milk (...) we lose out' (Senior managers, Grenoble)

11 Simple expectations: information, proximity and placing actions in a specific context The search for greater social, economic and even cultural cohesion remains one of the first vocations associated with the European Union. However, such cohesion is quickly being assessed as there is a fear of extremely harmful standardisation and the spectre of levelling downwards, one of whose main emblems is the loss of certain social achievements. Implicitly, Europe's desire is one of a European Union which is concerned with preserving local particularities while sharing synergies so as to drive all member states towards greater stability, and social, economic, environmental and diplomatic cohesion. Furthermore, the lack of awareness of how the EU works, the EU's missions and contributions and the lack of proximity felt at every level ask to be addressed through the provision of greater information and communication to citizens. This therefore mainly requires:  Enhancing the visibility of actions in priority areas, namely, jobs, training and social progress  Place the European Union in a dynamic which shows a clear direction and which is able to unify and encourage adhesion  Increase the feeling of belonging to a common framework on the basis of unifying elements.

12 A2. The European funds: a very low level of awareness

13 Almost a non-existent level of awareness which creates preconceived ideas which incorporate remoteness This observation is certain. There is almost a non-existent level of awareness among our targets of the Europeans funds, except for farmers who, aside from the grants that they receive for their line of work, soon make the same guesses. The European funds, which are a technical and financial product from the European Union, also present all of the features which create remoteness: the financial and technical side, the final purpose governed by theoretical principles of cohesion and solidarity. Unsurprisingly, most participants are unable to mention any specific European funds and evoking the ESF, the ERDF, the EAFRD and the EFF does not trigger a greater level of awareness. In terms of image and communication, the possible levers therefore are therefore faced with serious obstacles. There is, of course, a clear sociological rift between young people and those on high incomes who appear to be far more positive on the subject than those on low incomes. The questions quickly start to come from all directions and finally show quite a negative image of the European funds, which come to represent a melting pot of negative impressions associated with the European Union. The targets believe that the European funds initially resemble both:  a common financial goldmine meant for mutual community aid, through grants to upgrade geographic areas and/or sectors in trouble. The emerging markets in Eastern Europe are then identified as the first recipients of these funds;  a reservoir of community funds to deal with unforeseen events.

14 A community 'pool of money' which attracts suspicion and questions (1) The impressions on the European funds also bear witness to the following operating modes and fields of intervention:  broad and very general fields and missions with the feeling of a preponderance of agricultural grants which tends to monopolise most projects to the detriment of any other immediate plan;  beneficiaries which are hard to pinpoint but which are imagined at more of a macro level and which unquestionably take the shape of institutional beneficiaries, towards which there is a noticeable distance;  allocation criteria and operating mechanisms which are not well known, which quickly send out an image of opacity, complexity, a lack of management and control. Certain doubts also persist on the reimbursable nature of funds granted which would therefore serve as loans and not grants. 'A lot of money is being pumped around, we don't know why but we would like to find out; obscure, unclear, waste, useful but for whom? Somebody is winning' (Senior managers, Grenoble) 'The funds should be reorganised as they are mainly for agriculture. Investments should be made elsewhere' (Youngsters, Seine- Saint-Dénis suburbs) 'Inaccessible to the population. Does it really help us? (Employees, Martinique) 'As individuals, we don't see anything of the European Funds, unless you have a specific project' (Employees and intermediate professions, Lorient)

15 A community 'pool of money' which attracts suspicion and questions (2) As a result of this spontaneous distancing, suspicion quickly arises whether regarding:  the fear of seeing private interests coming before the common good: what are the rules governing the allocation of assistance between member states? More specifically, what are the principles retained in the allocation of assistance between institutions and regions and between the various projects? What are all of the criteria which take precedence in a situation in which the community budget, which is far from being extendable, appears insufficient to carry out large-scale actions?  the risk of France losing out in light of funds allocated to emerging markets;  doubts towards a system which is considered to be willingly corrupted with sums diverted from their initial purpose due to overriding local interests and a lack of follow-up in the field: what are the guarantees of transparency regarding the use of the funds and the achievements that they permit? 'There are exchanges but we don't know what we give nor what we receive; being in a union means that there must be exchanges somewhere; we are going to give and to receive but we have the impression that we could be giving more than we receive or that we are disadvantaged in some areas' (Employees and intermediate profession, Lorient) 'A load of rubbish: it's like a parent who gives his child some money to stop him nagging. We are given funds and the politicians here do whatever they want, they are not controlled. What it boils down to is this: take this and sort it out yourselves, a poisoned gift, the politicians stuff their pockets full and build three roads so that nobody says anything' (Employees, Martinique)

16 A3. The provision of information stimulates curiosity but not the cohesion desired

17 An image of the European funds which is both more specific and exhaustive... Updating as well as the communication projects and documents tested in the various regions inevitably create a certain amount of surprise among all of our targets. Surprise is mainly due to:  the observation of distinct and specified areas of intervention where we gave a global representation. The fields covered appear far more exhaustive and open than what we had imagined upstream with direct or indirect benefits for inhabitants and not only for the big players or institutions;  the existence of local initiatives carried out at a regional, town and even individual level, while we wondered whether the European Union had a vocation to intervene on this scale;  from among the examples mentioned, a social dimension was noted among the EU's fields of intervention, which was an agreeable surprise that did away with the image of a political- economic body which dominated the representations. The European funds thereby become both more specific and exhaustive and take on a local character. The impression of being nothing more than a simple financial tool is overtaken by a seductive and attractive image of commitments in the field. 'It has been built; I hadn't thought about all of that; there are specific areas' (Youngsters, Seine-Saint-Denis suburbs) 'I did not know that it was also internal to each country; it is also by region; there is an internal infrastructure for each country; I did not think that there was an infrastructure for the regions; it works in specific sectors to preserve France's traditions' (Youngsters, Seine-Saint-Denis suburbs) 'I was surprised that the European Union invests in social issues. I didn't know that. The European funds help to ensure there is equality and cohesion. There are good ideas behind it' (Employees, Martinique)

18 ...but a high demand for clarifications to strengthen the credibility of their interventions The gap felt not only between the information furnished and the initial level of knowledge but also between actual tested projects and the reality perceived in the field leaves room for many questions and is fertile ground for the emergence of many doubts. The first question is obviously: 'why did we not know about these projects beforehand?', purposefully making our various targets adopt an attitude of distrust. The desire to understand and identify specific examples of these initiatives at their own level soon follows on. The 'actual' vocation of the European funds also remains problematic for a large share of our targets. The drop in the number of supported interventions, projects and initiatives attracts questions and is even of concern:  the perceived scattering of micro-projects does not clearly reveal the global approach which governs European fund interventions;  the more the intervention is of a local nature, the more it intervenes downstream, viz. as a 'corrective' measure, and the more it appears as a one- off: a doubt crops up on the capacity of these initiatives to respond to the community vocation that we had hoped to be rather more structural and preventive;  finally, of less importance, the existence of such diverse European funds makes one wonder whether government actions have been ineffective or, inversely, the European Union has possibly had too strong a grip, which is worrying: why does France have to resort to European funds to carry out so many small scale projects? 'Who are the players? Who decides to give funds to one project and not another? Who is going to benefit from it? What type of company? How has Europe followed these projects up over time? ' (Youngsters, Seine-Saint-Denis suburbs) 'A country like France should not have to resort to these funds. It's like being on benefits; it's not always a good thing, what would we do if it all went belly up? (Workers and employees, Valenciennes)

19 The assessment of certain projects and communication measures: The most successful mechanisms The projects and communication measures which appear to work best among our various targets are most often those which: –show any form of local and social initiatives which act as a 'boost' for the territory, aside from the measures taken, to revitalise the area, particularly in the area of jobs. Examples which offer a clear understanding of the diverse range of beneficiaries (direct beneficiaries of the European funds / indirect beneficiaries of funded work) and the long-term consequences are among those which attract the greatest cohesion; –recount small-scale initiatives on issues concerning them or any forms of inter-personal accounts which directly affect them. The tested communications work quite well with regard to the films in which one can note the breaking down of accounts which place the European funds in a specific dimension and a dimension of proximity. However, it is important to note that while the testimonial aspect is seductive due to the fact that viewers can identify with the speakers, it has a risk of feeding the perception of a scattering of grants and the absence of a clear common guideline. 'We are closer to the grassroots. It is a local operation. It is more tangible; we go to the grassroots' (Farmers and craftsmen, Guéret) 'A young person's account, in particular, is more appropriate for us. It is specific, it is an accurate description of a person, a day, a close-up from the beginning to the end, it is credible and we believe it' (Youngsters, Seine-Saint-Denis suburbs)

20 A4. Expectations in the area of communication

21 Pride of place to the audiovisual tools Expectations in the area of communication tools are transversal, with:  a clear preference for audiovisual tools with the register of the spots tested: on the basis of inter-personal accounts but with a clearer guideline which ends up giving greater emphasis to the end purpose of the European commitment implicitly present in the initiatives shown;  the desire for more regular 'meetings' with European current affairs so as to become familiar with the various initiatives taken by the European funds (weekly TV programmes, Internet site, creation of ‘Maisons de l'Europe', etc.);  the need for relays in the PQR as well as at a regional body level.

22 The need to clarify the communication registers Furthermore, with regard to the content of the messages broadcast, the analysis of the statements collected among our various targets recalls the need to:  clarify who is emitting the message through, for example, a bigger display of the European funds; clarify the role and the positioning of the European funds in relation to the bodies mentioned in the various communications (State, local collectivities, companies, associations, individuals): as, unlike the structures that they assist, it is difficult to physically represent the European funds; it is important to clearly establish with the appropriate terminology the way in which they intervene (should we talk about funding, a partnership, support?);  reflect the long-term nature, and not the sporadic nature, of the European funds' interventions, to make the significance of the European commitment credible according to a clear and visible 'before/during/after' plan and to show attractive future perspectives;  reassure people on the measures taken to confront the distrust which exists towards institutions;  select the angle of approach to be given preference more clearly: is the aim to create through the examples of the initiatives chosen a driving effect based on a traditional 'advertising' register ('if you have a project, you may resort to European fund financing'), at the risk of creating a harmful phenomenon of promising too much? Is the aim to focus more on a Europe which is accountable or, quite simply, list the contributions it offers? Implicitly, the question undeniably arises on who the beneficiaries of these funds and the support organisations are and on which the communications must provide citizens with more information.

23 B. Lessons from the quantitative study

24 B1. The relationship with Europe

25 Question: would you say that you are very attached to, quite attached to, not very attached to or not at all attached to... ? 20% 17% 8% 35% 80% 83% 92% 65% Your town Your region France Europe The feeling of belonging Very attachedQuite attached to Not very attached Not at all attached

26 Legend Feeling of belonging to Europe The feeling of belonging

27 The attachment of the French to Europe appears to be subtle in comparison with other territories and bodies. While almost two thirds of interviewees (65%) say that they are 'very attached' or 'quite attached' to Europe, this score is far lower than that for the local level (town: 80%; regions: 83%) and France (92%). The fragile nature of the French population's attachment to Europe is also shown by its low intensity. Only 23% of interviewees said that they were 'very attached' to Europe compared to 59% for France, 43% for the region and 34% for the town. Such a ranking is in line with previous surveys on the same subject and testifies to both the geographic and symbolic distance that separate the French from Europe. The scale of the landmass which now makes up the European Union, the lack of 'naturally defined' borders and a common history shared by all unquestionably explains the relatively low sense of attachment. A closer look reveals that regional attachment is stronger among the oldest: it varies between 72% for those aged 18-24 years and 87% for those aged 50 years or over. Farmers (91%) and workers (86%) also show a strong attachment to their region which is far greater than that expressed by higher socio-professional categories (77%). It is however true that the latter are more geographically mobile due to their work and this undermines the attachment felt towards the region in which they live. The attachment of the French to their region varies greatly from one place to another. It is particularly high in regions with a strong socio-historic identity, particularly Corsica (94%), Brittany, Alsace and Aquitaine (91% each). In contrast, only 74% of those in the centre of France say that they are attached to their region while this figure stands at 71% for those in the Greater Paris region, which probably suffers from the geographic mobility of its population.

28 The feeling of belonging The reasons behind the attachment of the French to Europe are significantly different. The influence of the interviewees' age appears minimal (66% for those aged 18-24 years, 69% among those aged over 65 years) and points towards a particularly deep sociocultural rift. Only 54% of those with few or no qualifications say that they are attached to Europe compared to 65% of those with Baccalauréat qualifications and 77% of those with higher education certificates. Logically, this attachment also varies from one professional category to another: 55% of workers say that they are attached to Europe compared to 61% of farmers and 77% of managers and those with professional occupations. An attachment to Europe which varies from one region to the next. There are two factors to explain this. First, the physical distance from European decision-making centres: 74% of those in Alsace and 68% of those in Lorraine say that they are attached to Europe compared to only 51% of those who live in an overseas département (a score which varies between 43% in Guadeloupe and 55% in La Réunion). Secondly, there is a socio-economic factor which is also to be considered. It is particularly noteworthy that 58% of those who believe that they live in one of the European Union's poorest regions say that they are attached to Europe compared to 73% of those who, on the contrary, believe that they live in one of the wealthiest regions. This rift is apparent when analysing the results on a regional level: 70% of Greater Paris inhabitants (a region which has a low level of unemployment and a larger share of high income earners than the national average) say that they are attached to Europe compared to 57% of interviewees in Basse-Normandie and 58% in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. The feeling of belonging to Europe creates a clear political rift within each large political movement. On the left, only 48% of Communist Party supporters express their attachment to Europe compared to 67% of Socialist Party and Green Party supporters. On the right, the feeling of belonging to Europe rises to 75% among the UMP and 70% for the Nouveau Centre compared to only 52% for MPF and 28% for the National Front. In the same logic, the May 29 2005 referendum on the European draft constitutional treaty is still valid: 84% of voters who voted 'Yes' express their attachment to Europe compared to 51% of voters who voted 'No'.

29 The feeling of living in one of the European Union's wealthiest or poorest regions Question:would you say that your region is one of the European Union's wealthiest or poorest regions or neither one or the other? The poorest 26% Neither one nor the other 39% The wealthiest 35%

30 The feeling of living in one of the European Union's wealthiest or poorest regions The feeling of living in one of the poorest regions The feeling of living in one of the wealthiest regions Legend

31 The feeling of living in one of the European Union's wealthiest or poorest regions More than one third of interviewees believe that they live in one of the European Union's wealthiest regions (35%). Inversely, just over one quarter (26%) of the sample asked - a non-negligible share of interviewees - states that it lives in one of the poorest regions. 39% of interviewees do not consider themselves to be in either category. Socio-demographic, professional and cultural characteristics have little influence on the feeling of living in one of the European Union's wealthiest regions. For example, this feeling is shared by 33% of workers, 38% of intermediate professions and 43% of managers and those with professional occupations: a maximum difference of ten points. In contrast, the place of residence, that is to say, the regional factor, is decisive and has a significant impact on the results as shown by the gap noted between the interviewees residing in Nord-Pas-de-Calais (9%, the lowest score noted), Auvergne (10%), the Limousin (11%), French Guyana (14%) and those who live in Alsace (52%), Greater Paris (57%) or in Rhône- Alpes (59%, the highest score noted). We feel that the diversity of the feelings expressed by interviewees is probably due to the economic dynamism perceived on a regional scale. It should also be highlighted that the positive consideration of the advantages/disadvantages of France's membership of the European Union for the interviewee's region is accompanied by a feeling of living in one of the EU's wealthiest regions: 45% of those who believe that belonging to the EU has had more advantages than disadvantages for their region also state that they live in one of the wealthiest regions compared to only 24% of interviewees who think that there are more disadvantages than advantages.

32 Advantages and disadvantages balance of belonging to the European Union Question:do you think that belonging to the European Union has had...? More advantages than disadvantages More disadvantages than advantages Just as many advantages as disadvantages For your region For our country Base: each sub-question was asked randomly to half of the sample.

33 Advantages and disadvantages balance of belonging to the European Union 45% of interviewees believe that belonging to the European Union has had more advantages than disadvantages for France, compared to 48% who believed the contrary - a negative result (-3 points). However, 48% of interviewees believe that there are more advantages than disadvantages for their region compared to 41% who hold the opposite view - a positive result (+7 points). Nevertheless, it should be noted that 10% of French people consider that France's membership of the EU has had just as many advantages as disadvantages for their region. We can draw from these particularly diverse results the conclusion that the European Union is finding it difficult to make itself be seen as a dynamic element and a source of benefits by the French, both for their country in general and their region. On both of the study's levels (national and regional), young people are the most positive towards the European Union: 69% see the EU as a source of advantages for their region and 61% believe the same for France. In contrast, these views are only shared by 43% and 47% of those aged over 65 years, respectively. Those aged 18-24 years have grown up with Maastricht and have studied in Europe thanks to the Erasmus programme, which undoubtedly explains a more developed 'European' awareness even though, as we saw during the referendum on the draft constitutional treaty, their opinions may appear to differ and testify to a rift between those young people who have started to work and those who are continuing their studies. The results observed among other social groups reveal that there are some very positive views, particularly among managers and those in professional occupations: 67% note that there are more advantages than disadvantages for their region; this figure stands at 66% for France. On the contrary, workers and people without a qualification are more reserved and even skeptical towards the EU which, in their opinion, has more disadvantages than advantages (55% and 53% for their region, respectively).

34 Advantages and disadvantages balance of belonging to the European Union In parallel, significant geographic disparities become apparent. In areas with economic difficulties like Nord-Pas-de-Calais, most interviewees tend to see the EU as a source of disadvantages (54%), which could explain why the feeling of belonging is so low (58%, the lowest score noted in mainland France). Overseas départements break away from the norm: while their feeling of belonging to Europe is quite low, the advantages/disadvantages ratio is particularly favourable for the European Union. 65% of those living overseas believe that France's membership of the European Union has had more advantages than disadvantages for their region - a score which is 17 points higher than that noted in mainland France (48%). From a political viewpoint, those who support the 'MoDem' party consider the European Union as something which creates advantages for their region and country (64% and 65%, respectively), just like a high proportion of Green party and UMP party supporters. In contrast, only 11% of French people who support the National Front note that there are more advantages than disadvantages for their region; this figure stands at 38% for Communist party supporters. In this respect, the May 2005 referendum on the draft European constitutional treaty undoubtedly testifies to the split which exists in the French population on this subject: only 31% of 'No' voters see more advantages than disadvantages for their region compared to 65% of 'Yes' voters.

35 B2. Information on the assistance and the measures provided by the European Union

36 The level of awareness of European Union actions and financial assistance Question:would you say that you personally are very well informed, quite well informed, rather badly informed or very badly informed about the financial assistance brought and the actions supported by the European Union... ? … in France... in your region … in France... in your region The financial assistance given by the European Union... The actions supported by the European Union... 25% 21% 40% 27% 75% 79% 60% 73% Very well informed Quite well informed Quite badly informed Very badly informed Base: each sub-question was asked randomly to half of the sample.

37 The level of awareness of European Union actions and financial assistance Legend Well informed about financial assistance given in France Well informed about financial assistance given in his/her region Legend

38 On the subject of the awareness of the financial assistance and action supported by the European Union in France and on a regional level more specifically, the results of the quantitative study confirm the poor level of knowledge observed during the qualitative phase. Nevertheless, the survey results lead us to believe that such poor knowledge primarily concerns the EU's intervention methods: while 40% of interviewees consider themselves to be well informed on actions supported by the EU in France, only 25% are of the same opinion regarding financial assistance brought by the EU to the country. Such a difference also arises, albeit to a lesser extent, when Europe's assistance is seen at a regional level. Significant territorial discrepancies become apparent and reveal a large scale gap between mainland regions and overseas départements. While the level of awareness of interviewees reaches an equivalent level regarding actions supported by the European Union in France, it is on the contrary far better in overseas départements than those implemented at a local level. Likewise, overseas département inhabitants appear to be far more aware than the French on the mainland of the existence of financial assistance given by the European Union (and the methods used), both at a national (i.e. France) and a regional level. Nevertheless, these better levels of awareness in overseas départements gloss over the realities which exist in the various départements. With regard to financial assistance from the European Union at a local level, 28% of Guadeloupe's inhabitants and 29% of French Guyana's inhabitants consider themselves to be well informed compared to 36% of those in Martinique and 45% in La Réunion. Likewise, there is a comparable level of heterogeneity in mainland France. More specifically, the feeling of being well informed about the financial assistance given by the EU to the interviewee's region receives a score of slightly less than 20% in Greater Paris, Midi-Pyrénées, Champagne-Ardenne, Rhône-Alpes and Normandy compared to 26% in Brittany, 27% in Alsace and 34% in Corsica (which is +13 points on the national average). The level of awareness of European Union actions and financial assistance

39 The analysis of other factors also confirms these regional variations. The share of interviewees who are well informed about financial assistance or actions supported by the EU in their region is even greater when the interviewees have the feeling of living in one of the EU's wealthiest regions or when they consider that France's membership of the EU has had more advantages than disadvantages for their region. For example, one third of those who state that they live in one of the wealthiest regions consider themselves to be well informed about the actions supported by the EU in their region compared to 23% of those who believe that they live in one of the poorest regions. Likewise, slightly more than one quarter (26%) of those who believe that France's membership of the EU has had more advantages than disadvantages for their region say that they are well informed about the financial assistance given at a regional level compared to 17% of those who mostly see disadvantages. In parallel, the feeling of being well informed about the assistance given by the EU to the interviewee's region appears shared unevenly between one population category to another. Systematically, men claim to be well informed more often than women. Age also plays a part. The share of interviewees who consider themselves to be well informed reaches almost an equivalent level to the national average among those aged under 25 years but drops significantly among the higher age group to then significantly rise the further one goes up the age groups. For example, only 18% of interviewees aged between 25 and 34 years consider themselves to be well informed about the actions supported by the EU in their region compared to 41% of those aged over 65 years. This difference may also, implicitly, reveal a desire among the youngest generations to find out more while older people are satisfied with the information currently at their disposal. Finally, significant discrepancies appear among the various socio-professional categories, particularly with regard to the financial assistance given by the EU to the person's region and for which the feeling of being well informed rises to 37% among farmers (who benefit from direct assistance due to their work) compared to 14% among workers and 20% among managers and those with professional occupations. The level of awareness of European Union actions and financial assistance

40 'I don't have a clue, it goes through the town hall or rather the 'Conseil général'. I don't think that the European Union was created to resolve all of the country's or the regions' problems. It must have more global actions' (Workers and employees, Valenciennes) 'It is a shame that we are not sufficiently informed about all of the areas in which the European funds play a role. It makes them more humane, it is reassuring to know that our taxes are going there and the fact that our money is not being waste' (Workers and employees, Valenciennes) 'There is no information on the European funds: adverts on TV, in the regional newspapers and Isère magazine, the Conseil général's monthly publication' (Senior managers, Grenoble)

41 Knowledge of the European Union's areas of financial intervention in France and his/her region Question:Do you think that the European Union financially intervenes in the following areas in France and in your region? Total Yes Base: each sub-question was asked randomly to half of the sample....The environment and sustainable development...Agriculture...Economic development...Research and development...Economic development...Fishing and aquaculture...Food quality...Transport...Defence...Rural development …Professional training...Jobs...The safety of property and people...Social and professional insertion In France in your region Rank FranceRegion 12 21 33 33 55 66 77 89 98 1010 1111 1213 1312

42 Knowledge of the European Union's areas of financial intervention in France and his/her region Question:Do you think that the European Union financially intervenes in the following areas in France and in your region? Total No Base: each sub-question was asked randomly to half of the sample....The environment and sustainable development...Agriculture...Economic development...Research and development...Economic development...Fishing and aquaculture...Food quality...Transport...Defence...Rural development …Professional training...Jobs...The safety of property and people...Social and professional insertion In France in your region

43 Knowledge of the European Union's areas of financial intervention in France and his/her region Base: each sub-question was asked randomly to half of the sample....The environment and sustainable development...Agriculture...Economic development...Research and development...Economic development...Fishing and aquaculture...Food quality...Transport...Defence...Rural development …Professional training...Jobs...The safety of property and people...Social and professional insertion Workers Farmers Managers Total Yes

44 Knowledge of the European Union's areas of financial intervention in France and his/her region...The environment and sustainable development...Agriculture...Economic development...Research and development...Economic development...Fishing and aquaculture...Food quality...Transport...Defence...Rural development …Professional training...Jobs...The safety of property and people...Social and professional insertion Total Yes Base: each sub-question was asked randomly to half of the sample. Higher education certificate Without qualifications or school leaving certificates

45 Knowledge of the European Union's areas of financial intervention in France and his/her region...The environment and sustainable development...Agriculture...Research and development...Economic development...Fishing and aquaculture...Food quality...Transport...Defence...Rural development …Professional training...Jobs...The safety of property and people...Social and professional insertion Total Yes Belonging to the EU has had more disadvantages than advantages for his/her region Belonging to the EU has had more advantages than disadvantages for his/her region

46 Knowledge of the European Union's areas of financial intervention in France and his/her region...The environment and sustainable development...Agriculture...Research and development...Economic development...Fishing and aquaculture...Food quality...Transport...Defence...Rural development …Professional training...Jobs...The safety of property and people...Social and professional insertion Total Yes Does not know any of the six European funds Knows several of the six European funds

47 Knowledge of the European Union's areas of financial intervention in France and his/her region...The environment and sustainable development...Agriculture...Research and development...Economic development...Fishing and aquaculture...Food quality...Transport...Defence...Rural development …Professional training...Jobs...The safety of property and people...Social and professional insertion Total Yes Does not personally benefit from actions funded by the EU Personally benefits from actions funded by the EU

48 The identification of the EU's areas of financial intervention in France as a whole and on a regional level testifies to the poor knowledge of those interviewed. The assistance given by Europe in the areas of agriculture, environment, economic development and even research and development are generally well identified, particularly thanks to the big European programmes such as Airbus, Galileo, etc., as was observed during the qualitative phase. However, the social dimension of European intervention appears to be unknown to or at least very poorly identified by the general public. In this respect, it is surprising to see that only around one third of interviewees think that the EU financially intervenes in the area of professional insertion whether in France (33%) or in the person's region (34%), which are equivalent or even lower levels than the share surveyed which gave a comparable answer for the safety of property and people, which is an area not covered by the European Union. The low scores recorded for professional training and jobs should also be noted both for France (40% and 38%, respectively) and the person's region (38% and 25%, respectively). Such poor knowledge of the European Union's role, particularly in the area of jobs, professional training and more generally social insertion, once again covers up a significant gap between mainland France and the overseas départements. There are also significant differences from one region to another within each of these two kinds of territories. For the overseas départements, it is particularly surprising to note that La Réunion has the highest identification rates for all of the areas tested and with scores which are often higher by more than 20 points than the average observed for all of the overseas départements. In contrast, inhabitants in French Guyana and, to a lesser extent, Guadeloupe, who have already shown a low level of awareness of the assistance given by the EU to their region, are those who find it hardest to identify the EU's various fields of intervention. Knowledge of the European Union's areas of financial intervention in France and his/her region

49 In mainland France, the heterogeneity of the results is attributable to other factors. Local awareness of the areas of intervention concerned is decisive at a regional level. It is particularly the case for fishing and aquaculture, identified by 68% of those in Brittany and 64% of those in Corsica as an EU area of intervention in their region compared to only 32% of people in Lorraine. Likewise, economic development is clearly identified by 73% of inhabitants in Midi-Pyrénées and Rhône-Alpes where state-of-the-art European industry (aeronautics, chemicals) is located compared to only 49% of interviewees in Nord-Pas-de-Calais as this region faced industrial restructuring due to the globalisation of trade. The environment and sustainable development have been particularly well identified by the inhabitants of Alsace, who have been made aware of these challenges over a long period: 79% believe that it is an EU intervention area compared to 61% of those in Nord-Pas-de-Calais. The identification of EU areas of intervention in the person's region varies little and even negligibly according to the gender of the interviewees. This observation lets us relativize the feeling of being well informed claimed by men more often than women as an in-depth analysis of the results shows that their level of knowledge is the same most of the time. In contrast, the qualification level makes much more of a difference. There is a clear difference between those without qualifications and those with higher education certificates for the areas which are mostly identified at a national level as the recipients of EU financial assistance. The diploma factor makes a massive difference for agriculture (29 point difference on a sociocultural scale), the environment and sustainable development (23 point difference), economic development (30 point difference) and research and design (25 point difference). However, the areas of intervention which are the least well known among the general public, namely, the social dimension of European intervention at a regional level, suffer from a comparable lack of knowledge within the two population categories. Knowledge of the European Union's areas of financial intervention in France and his/her region

50 There are also noticeable differences between one socio-professional category and another. Farmers have a better knowledge than the rest of the population of several areas and those that directly concern them, more specifically. For example, 86% of farmers identify agriculture as an EU area of financial intervention in their region, as do 91% for the environment and sustainable development, 70% for fishing and aquaculture, 68% for rural development and 64% for jobs. Nevertheless, this factor makes far less of a difference than the qualification level. As would be expected, managers have a better knowledge than workers of the areas of intervention which are best identified by all of the sample questioned but this difference becomes less clearcut for the areas concerned by social action: only 30% of managers and 31% of workers identify social and professional insertion as an EU area of financial intervention. Knowledge of EU areas of financial intervention in the person's region appears to be closely related to the feeling of living in one of the EU's wealthiest regions and also the identification of a personal benefit from actions funded by the EU. Therefore, interviewees who believe that they live in one of the wealthiest regions demonstrate greater knowledge than the rest of the population. Likewise, the feeling of benefiting personally from EU funded actions leads to higher levels of awareness. It should nevertheless be noted that here also, the social side of European intervention suffers from a lack of awareness, regardless of the opinions expressed by the interviewees. Knowledge of the European Union's areas of financial intervention in France and his/her region

51 The level of awareness of European Union actions and financial assistance 'Europe gives grants, changes like the tram, maybe the TGV, the France-England train. Maybe it makes things progress: communications, renovations, Valenciennes hospital; there must be some European funding there' (Workers and employees, Valenciennes) 'A treasury, piggy bank, useful in the sense that at least it helps. It lets quite a lot of work to be done. It helps us indirectly: roads, infrastructure. It does not help us personally but it does so indirectly through transport, schools.' (Employees, Martinique) 'Sustainable development such as organic farming, for example, or a sort of farming... When they talk about the environment, quality of life or sustainable development it is to change something' (Employees and intermediate professions, Lorient)

52 B3. The European funds

53 Awareness of the European funds Question:do you personally know, even just by name...? Know at least one fund 55% The ESF, the European Social Fund The ERDF, the European Regional Development Fund The EAFRD, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development The EFF, the European Fisheries Fund The EAGGF, the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund The FIFG, the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) One single fund 23% Several funds 32% Does not know any fund 45%

54 Awareness of the European funds The awareness scores recorded for each of the European funds demonstrate, once again, the poor knowledge previously observed and confirm the lessons drawn from the qualitative phase. Of course, a majority of French people (55%) state that they know at least one of the six funds tested, albeit by name. Nevertheless, only the European Social Fund (ESF) receives an honourable awareness score despite concerning a minority: 35% of those questioned had heard about it. The following funds come next: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF, 23%), the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD, 18%), the European Fisheries Fund (EFF, 15%), the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF, 13%) and the FIFG, the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG, 10%). The better awareness scores recorded for those funds which have changed name (EAGGF/EAFRD and FIFG/EFF) could be explained by a more transparent terminology which eventually allows for an easier identification and memorisation of these funds. The gender and age of interviewees hardly affects the awareness of the European funds. On the other hand, there are significant differences depending on the socio-professional category. Farmers, who are targeted by the EAFRD and the EAGGF, achieve the highest score: 80% know at least one of the six funds tested, compared to 68% of managers and those in professional occupations and only 44% of workers. The qualification level also has a significant influence: only 40% of those without certificates state that they know at least one of the six funds compared to 70% of those with higher education certificates. Awareness of one or more European funds hardly varies between one mainland region and another: it varies between 50% in Nord-Pas-de-Calais and 62% in Brittany and the Auvergne. In parallel, awareness of the European funds is greater in overseas départements (which identify the EU's areas of intervention better than mainland France): 69% of those living in an overseas département state that they know, albeit just by name, at least one of the six funds; this score varies between 66% in La Réunion and 81% in Martinique.

55 Awareness of the European funds We should highlight that the awareness of the European funds appears to be closely linked to the feeling of being informed about financial assistance by the European Union to the person's region: 83% of those who say that they are 'very well informed' know at least one of the funds compared to only 42% of those who consider themselves to be 'very badly informed'. The in-depth analysis of the results recorded for the four European funds which currently exist largely confirms these general lessons and testifies to the decisive nature of the qualification level. It should nevertheless be noted that awareness of the funds is always higher among the oldest interviewees, the noticeable exception being the ESF which is better known by young people aged between 25 and 34 years. We should also mention that here, again, the awareness score recorded for each of the funds is always greater than the national average among those who believe that France's membership of the European Union has had more advantages than disadvantages for their region. Likewise, the probability of knowing, albeit only by name, each of these funds is even higher among those who consider themselves to be well informed about the financial assistance given by the EU to their region. For example, 52% of interviewees who state that they are 'very well informed' know about the ERDF compared to only 13% of those who consider themselves to be 'very badly informed'. In contrast, the feeling of living in one of the EU's wealthiest or poorest regions hardly affects or does not at all affect the issue. (EFF) '(Laughter), there is a European Fisheries Fund? It's not possible! Why fishing in particular? So there is a special fund for everything: agriculture, crayfish breeding, etc. ? ' (Youngsters, Seine-Saint-Dénis suburbs) (EAFRD) 'I have heard about it once before but I don't really know what it is. Maybe it is for when there are natural disasters' (Employees, Martinique)

56 Identification of structures benefiting from European funds Question:In your opinion, do the following structures benefit from or could they benefit from these European funds which are the European Union's financial instruments for solidarity? Regions The State Farms The départements Companies Towns Associations Yes No

57 Identification of structures benefiting from European funds The identification of structures benefiting from or which could benefit from European funds appears to be quite unequal. Large administrative structures and economic players are deemed to be those which benefit from such funds most. Regions, the State and the départements are identified by 80%, 77% and 67% of interviewees, respectively. 76% of interviewees also believe that farms can benefit from European funds, just like 65% of interviewees believe companies can. In contrast, this opportunity is far less obvious for towns (50%) and associations (41%). These results fully confirm the lessons from the qualitative phase on the contributions made by the EU, which are mainly seen at a macro level and concerning institutions. Furthermore, the discrepancy noted between companies and associations as possible beneficiaries of European funds contributes once again to the real difficulty of seeing a 'Social Europe' taking precedence over an 'Economic Europe' in the population's mind. The awareness of bodies likely to benefit from European funds hardly varies according to socio-demographic, cultural and professional characteristics. However, the ability to identify these structures by the inhabitants in overseas départements always greater than the national average in and is relatively homogenous regardless of the département considered. In fact, the identification of the structures appears to depend mainly on knowing, albeit only by name, at least one of the European funds, on the feeling of being well informed about financial assistance from the EU in the person's region and, even more so, on the perception of a personal benefit thanks to the actions funded by the EU in the person's region. In this respect, it should be noted that considering France's membership of the EU as having had more advantages than disadvantages for the person's region hardly or does not at all affect the levels of awareness.

58 The level of awareness of European Union actions and financial assistance 'The towns ask for European funds when they carry out work. Unless it is the département, and then the region. ' (Employees and intermediate professions, Lorient) 'They help companies a lot to get off the ground but then the money has to be reimbursed. It's like a loan to get you going at the beginning but then you have to pay it back. It's a trap, it is not given free of charge. You don't get given money so easily' (Employees, Martinique) 'It goes through the 'Conseil régional' and they get it back with interest. The money from the social funds creates jobs and jobs mean taxes so they get it back indirectly' (Employees, Martinique)

59 Information sources on the European funds Question:you have said that you know, albeit only by name, one or more of the European funds mentioned earlier. Where did you hear about the fund(s)? On TV In the written press On the radio In books or brochures On the internet On posters Elsewhere In information centres on Europe

60 Information sources on the European funds Asked about their two main sources of information on the European funds, those interviewees who state that they know at least one (55% of the sample) mostly mention TV (58% of answers) and to a non-negligible extent the written press (45%). The radio comes a lot further down the list and is mentioned by a little more than one quarter of interviewees (26%). Documentary sources obtain an honourable score: 17% of interviewees learnt about the European funds through books or brochures and 15% through the internet. The impact of posters and information centres on Europe is negligible (3% and 1%, respectively). TV is more popular among women (63% compared to 54% of men), low social groups (71% of workers and 67% of employees compared to 39% of managers and those with liberal occupations) and those with few or no certificates (73% compared to 42% among those with higher education certificates). TV is mentioned more often in overseas départements than in mainland France (69% and 58%, respectively), with significant discrepancies however from one region to another on the mainland as the rate varies between 52% in the Centre (53% in Greater Paris) and 65% in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. The written press benefits from a quote rate which is far higher than the national average among those aged over 65 years (58%, +13 points), farmers (57%, +12 points), those with higher education certificates (51%, +6 points) and in the following three regions: Corsica (56%, +11 points), Brittany (57%, +12 points) and Alsace (62%, +17 points). It should also be noted that the written press obtains an equivalent score to that for television (51%) among those who consider themselves to be well informed about the financial assistance from the EU in their region. The number of radio listeners rises steeply in line with the age of interviewees: 15% of young people aged between 18 and 24 years selected this medium as an information source compared to twice this figure (32%) among those aged over 65 years. Differences are minimal based on gender, qualification level and profession, with the exception of craftsmen who stand out with 34% citing the radio as an information source. It should also be noted that the radio obtains a score of more than 30% in several regions: Guadeloupe (38%), Martinique (37%), Aquitaine (33%), Franche-Comté and Lorraine (31% each). Finally, use of the internet largely reflects the population group which is connected to the web. The web is mentioned more often by men, young people aged between 18 and 24 years and students compared to women, those aged over 65 years and the low social groups.

61 Awareness of actions undertaken in the person's region thanks to the European funds Question:based on what you know, has your region already benefited from one or more of these European funds? Yes, several times 50% Yes, once 28% No, never 18% DNK 4% Total Yes 78%

62 Awareness of actions undertaken in the person's region thanks to the European funds Knowledge of one or more European funds is generally accompanied by a high level of awareness of the actions undertaken at a regional level thanks to these financial instruments for solidarity: 78% of interviewees who know at least one of the six funds state that their region has already benefited from funds 'once' (28%) or 'several times' (50%). These results are relatively homogenous across the population categories. However, there are some noticeable trends. The awareness score for these actions improves the further one goes up the socio-professional and sociocultural ladders. For example, 70% of those with few or no certificates believe that their region has already benefited from these funds compared to 87% of those with higher education certificates. On the other hand, the results vary far more from one region to another: between 68% in Greater Paris and 91% in La Réunion. In total, seven regions have an awareness score of more than 85%. In addition to La Réunion, these include the three other overseas départements and Corsica (89%), Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Brittany (86% each). 'It helped us in the area of roads, infrastructure, the port, air and sea transport. The signs say that the European Union helped through the European funds; assistance for training, schools' (Employees, Martinique) 'Premiums: European assistance for agriculture. It helps La Creuse a lot. If Europe didn't exist, a lot of things would not be taking place where we live: La Creuse is the Limousin's poor département; that shouldn't be forgotten. A lot of jobs would go, if Europe didn't exist. ' (Farmers and craftsmen, Guéret)

63 Perception of a personal benefit due to the actions funded by the EU in the person's region Question:as a citizen, do you think that you personally benefit from the actions funded by the European Union in your region? Yes No

64 Perception of a personal benefit due to the actions funded by the EU in the person's region The perception of a personal benefit due to the actions funded by the EU in the person's region concerns a small minority of the population (30%) and this is apparent among all of the population categories questioned, farmers being a notable exception (62%). It nevertheless obtains a score which is far higher than the national average among certain segments and managers, in particular (40% compared to 25% of employees and 29% of workers), those with higher education certificates (41% compared to 28% of people without certificates) and those people who live in an overseas département (47%). Other factors influence the perception of a personal benefit due to the actions funded by the EU in the person's region. 40% of interviewees who believe that France's membership of the EU has had more advantages than disadvantages for their region also perceive a personal benefit (compared to 24% of those who express the opposite opinion), as do 41% of those who know several of the funds tested (compared to 24% of those who do not know any fund). The level of information held by interviewees on this subject is in fact decisive: 49% of interviewees who consider themselves to be very well informed about the financial assistance brought by the European Union to the person's region believe that they personally benefit from this assistance compared to only 21% of those who state that they are 'very badly informed'. 'Member states, not me, not the worker, not the small companies or retired people' (Workers and employees, Valenciennes) 'We benefit from it indirectly even if we don't realise. It improves the suburbs and poor neighbourhoods. There's hope, the ESF is becoming even more social and is responsible for projects and success stories. It's a real boost given the share from the ERDF. It's good that the money goes to the suburbs and not just Paris' (Youngsters, Seine-Saint- Dénis suburbs)

65 C. Conclusion

66 Conclusion This study, implemented as part of the inter-ministerial communication plan by DIACT and Cnasea and whose undertaking was entrusted to Ifop, has produced valuable lessons on the awareness and knowledge of French people in the area of European Union intervention at a national and a regional level. The undertaking of this particularly ambitious study coincides with a national situation characterised by highly diverse views of the European Union. It should be recalled that only 45% of interviewees believe that France's membership of the EU has had more advantages than disadvantages for the country compared to 48% of interviewees who believe the opposite. These results prove that the rifts noted at the May 2005 referendum on the draft constitutional treaty persist while European stakes suffer from weak media coverage and far less interest since this time. These conflicting and even negative opinions are due to levels of awareness of the actions carried out by the EU and its areas of intervention which are particularly low. The results of the quantitative study reveal that a lot of interviewees are unaware of how the EU intervenes at a local level and serve to confirm the lessons from the qualitative study. For example, only 40% of interviewees consider themselves to be well informed about the actions supported by the EU in France; this figure drops to 27% for actions supported by the EU in the person's region. The scores recorded for the subject of financial assistance also lead us to believe that while a significant share (albeit a minority) of French people are somewhat aware that Europe acts at a local level, the specific methods used to implement these actions suffer from a surprising lack of awareness.

67 Conclusion The analysis of the answers to the questions regarding the person's knowledge of the EU's areas of intervention bears valuable lessons: the general lack of awareness of the social side of European intervention is clearly at the heart of the poor levels of awareness and negative opinions on the advantages/disadvantages ratio of France's membership to the EU. For example, only 29% of those who believe that the EU represents more of a disadvantage than an advantage for France think that the EU intervenes financially in the area of jobs in France (as do 20% of those people who consider themselves to be very badly informed about the EU's financial assistance in France) compared to 46% of those who perceive more advantages than disadvantages (and 79% of people who consider themselves to be very well informed about financial assistance). Unsurprisingly, most of the European funds received particularly weak awareness scores. Likewise, only a minority of interviewees state that they perceive a personal benefit due to the actions funded by the European Union in their region. On this point, the results reveal a clear correlation between the levels of awareness and the perception of such benefits. On the basis of these lessons, the effectiveness of the next information and communication campaign regarding European intervention in France will undoubtedly depend on its ability to: clarify the nature of European fund intervention and to inform people about EU financial support not only at a national level but also more specifically at a local level. In light of the large number of questions and the suspicion noted during the qualitative phase in particular on how these funds work, their allocation criteria and beneficiaries, it is important to clarify their intervention methods. To entrench its legitimacy, credibility and to improve proximity with citizens, the financial assistance brought by the European funds must be claimed and anchored in a European project which shows people a clear strategy.

68 Conclusion The aim is to move away from the praiseworthy image of European funds whose purpose is to fill certain gaps or inequalities at a local level and to make the regions and départements stand out as the main levers of EU action at a local level. To achieve this, it is important for EU financial intervention to be recognised at every level, both macro and micro. highlight the social side of European action and underline the benefits of this action to the local environment (region, département, town) and individuals themselves. The key to the rift which remains between the EU and its fellow citizens undoubtedly concerns this social dimension which continues to be cruelly missing in people's perceptions. Whereas it is this area that is the subject of the largest expectations regarding EU intervention and it is also in this vast area, which also covers assistance with social and professional insertion, that the levers for cohesion and the identification of personal benefits are the biggest. Of course, the aim is not to deny the fact that the fields of intervention covered by the European funds are diverse, which is an essential and highly appreciated characteristic. Nevertheless, to reach out to the largest number of people and unite them around a European action whose benefits are noticeable locally, it is important to make the most of this social dimension which, quite directly and explicitly, runs through all of the various funds' areas of competence.

69 Every year, the European funds co-fund a large number of projects under economic and social cohesion policies and policies on rural development and fishing. Europe has contributed more than 20 billion euros to more than 250,000 actions undertaken between 2000 and 2006 in France. What is the awareness of the intervention by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Funds, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (formerly EAGGF) and the European Fisheries Funds (formerly EFF)? How do the French react to the citing of specific examples of actions co-funded by Europe? What impact does the information on these policies have on the perception of citizens of the European Union? At a time in which Europe's 2007-2013 programmes are taking shape, this opinion survey gives a valuable insight into how the French feel towards Europe. The survey lays the groundwork for a more effective form of communication regarding funds which represent the EU's closest and most tangible actions. This survey was led by DIACT under the inter-ministerial communication plan on European funds in partnership with the Ministry for agriculture and fishing, the Secretary of State for overseas and the Ministry for the economy, industry and employment. Its implementation benefited from support by Cnasea and co- funding from the European regional development fund as part of the national programme for technical assistance. In partnership with the Ministry for the economy, industry and employment, the Ministry for the interior, overseas territories and collectivities, and the Ministry for agriculture and fishing This survey was carried out by Ifop as part of the inter-ministerial communication plan on projects in France which are jointly funded with the European Union. The survey has been co-funded by the European Union.


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