Most Europeans feel that they are treated fairly in terms of opportunities to get ahead at 58 percent, but there are huge disparities in the 28-member block, with just 18 percent of Greeks telling a Eurobarometer survey that life is fair, against 81 percent of Danes.
Published on Monday, Eurobarometer’s annual Fairness Report, found, however, that many Europeans are concerned about how fairly justice and political decisions are applied in their countries.
For example, only 39 percent of respondents are confident that justice always prevails over injustice, while the same proportion disagrees. In Greece, 35 percent of respondents disagree, against 19 who agree.
Even more pessimistically, only 32 percent of Europeans and 9 percent of Greeks agree that political decisions are applied consistently to all citizens, while 48 and 43 percent respectively, disagree.
The overwhelming majority of Europeans also thinks that income differences are too great (84 percent), ranging from 96 percent in Portugal, 92 percent in Germany and 80 percent in Greece, to 59 percent in the Netherlands. In all countries except Denmark more than 60 percent agree that governments should take measures to reduce differences.
Fewer than half of respondents (46 percent), meanwhile, believe that opportunities to get ahead have become more equal compared to 30 years ago, with more than 70 percent agreeing in Malta, Finland and Ireland, but fewer than 25 percent in Croatia, France and Greece.
This was the second year after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made fairness a policy cornerstone, that the report by the Joint Research Center (JRC) was published.