The private sector has a greater role to play in international development, gender equality and address the root causes of migration, according to the findings of a new Eurobarometer survey.

“This shows that our proposal to deepen our economic relationship with Africa by focussing on private investment is on the right track with citizens,” said Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica. “We should see this as a call to do more on development, and do it now.”

According to the findings of the survey, 89% of European Union citizens support helping people in developing countries. More people believe that financial cooperation should be increased now than in 2016. Over three-quarters of respondents in all EU Member States believe the EU should keep its promise on the amount of aid it gives to developing countries.

As regards gender equality, nearly nine in ten respondents think it should be a priority in the EU’s development policy. More specifically, they want to see a focus on tackling violence against women and girls (78%), countering discrimination against women (63%), and providing women and girls with access to education (61%).

On the subject of irregular migration, 70% of respondents agreed that providing financial assistance to developing countries is an effective way to address irregular migration. Compared to 2016, this view has gained support among people in 14 countries – especially in Malta, Greece and Bulgaria.