EU cash: Maltese can see the difference

68% of Maltese say they are aware of EU funds spent in their hometown

A Eurobarometer survey found 68% of Maltese saying they are aware of EU-funded projects in localities where they live
A Eurobarometer survey found 68% of Maltese saying they are aware of EU-funded projects in localities where they live

Almost seven out of every 10 Maltese say they are aware their hometowns have benefited from EU-funded projects – yet just 29% say they benefitted personally from these projects.

A Eurobarometer survey found 68% of Maltese saying they are aware of EU-funded projects in localities where they live, outstripping the 40% EU average who are aware of similar projects in their neighbourhoods.

Moreover 91% of Maltese think these EU-funded project have benefitted their localities.

The Maltese are only surpassed by Poles (82%), Czechs (75%) and Slovaks (72%) in their awareness of EU-funded projects in their neighbourhoods.  

But Malta compares very favourably to Cyprus, where only 38% are aware of such funding initiatives in their localities.

Unsurprisingly the greatest awareness of EU-funded projects is found in new member states who are still net recipients of EU funds, and lowest in old member states like the Netherlands (19%), the UK (16%) and Denmark (15%),

But the percentage of Maltese who are aware of such projects in their locality has increased from 39% in 2010 to 59% in 2015, to 68% now.

While the Maltese are more aware of EU-funded projects in their localities than most other Europeans, less than a third have personally benefitted from these funds.

The survey shows that just 27% of Maltese have benefited in their daily life from a project funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) or the Cohesion Fund. compared to 28% of all EU respondents. Respondents in Eastern European nations like Poland (74%), Estonia (54%) and the Czech Republic (50%) were the most likely to say that they have personally benefitted from EU funding.

The survey also shows that 58% of Maltese believe that the EU should invest in all regions, while 37% think it should only invest in its poorer regions. The percentage that believes that the EU should restrict funding to poorer regions has declined by three points.

EU where?

The Maltese are amongst the least knowledgeable of the EU’s outermost regions

The survey also exposes the Maltese as being the most ignorant when it comes to geography.

Only 8% of the Maltese – compared to 21% of all EU respondents – could mention at least one of the nine outermost EU regions, which are territories or islands located far away from the European continent. Only the Greeks, Croats, Cypriots, Latvians and Lithuanians were less knowledgeable.

Unsurprisingly the most knowledgeable were the French (49%) whose country includes Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Saint Martin, Réunion and Mayotte, followed by the Luxembourgers (43%) whose country includes no such territories

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