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In general, trust in institutions is continuously higher in Portugal than the EU average but – bar trust in the EU – it has decreased during the COVID-19 crisis.
In general, trust in institutions is continuously higher in Portugal than the EU average but – bar trust in the EU – it has decreased during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Portugal records highest trust in the EU, among Member States

The trust of people in Portugal in the European Union is the highest across all Member States, according to Eurofound’s large-scale Living, working and COVID-19 online survey. With 5.9 out of 10, it is significantly higher than the EU average at 4.6. Trust in the EU in the Southern European country has increased throughout the COVID-19 pandemic from 5.2 in April 2020 to 5.4 during the summer of last year to 5.9 in February and March of 2021.

The third round of the unique pan-EU survey was fielded in February and March 2021 and the analysis provided in the report and background data for the latest round is based on a sample of 46,800 responses, and an overall sample of 138,629 across all three rounds. It sheds light on the social and economic situation of people across Europe following nearly a full year of living with COVID-19 restrictions.

In general, trust in institutions is continuously higher in Portugal than the EU average but – bar trust in the EU – it has decreased during the COVID-19 crisis. For example, trust in the national government in Portugal is ranked at 5 in spring 2021 compared to 6 in April of last year. Trust in healthcare decreased from 6.9 to 6.6 and from 7.4 to 6.6 for the police.

Living, working and COVID-19 (Update April 2021): Mental health and trust decline across EU as pandemic enters another year finds that the pandemic initially disrupted the provision of public services, including essential healthcare, preventive screening and mental healthcare. In spring 2021, Portugal recorded the second highest unmet healthcare needs (34.2%). The main reason given for lack of healthcare access in spring 2021 was that appointments were not available due to the pandemic, followed by the existence of waiting lists – the same top two reasons cited in summer 2020.

In the third round of the Living, working and COVID-19 survey, Eurofound asked the respondents about the change in their trust in science since the beginning of the pandemic. 42.9% of respondents in Portugal indicated an increase here, which is the highest in the EU. Another new question was in relation to vaccinations, and specifically the intention to get vaccinated, where 82.6% of people in Portugal indicated they were likely to take the vaccine when it becomes available to them, as compared to 64.4%, the EU average.

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Anna Gallinat

Anna Gallinat

Communication Project Officer

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Eurofound, a tripartite European Union Agency, provides knowledge to assist in the development of social, employment and work-related policies

Eurofound (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions) is a tripartite EU body, whose mission is to provide knowledge to assist in the development of better social, employment and work-related policies.

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