Almost half (48 percent) of the more than 27,000 respondents surveyed between November and December 2020 for the 2020 Parlómetro (the European Parliament's Eurobarometer) signal the fight against poverty and social inequalities as the priority.
This majority is led by the 1,012 Portuguese respondents, of whom 76 percent highlight this fight as paramount.
Next on the list of priorities for the Portuguese are full employment (much higher than the European average: 51 percent compared to 21 percent), access to quality education and protection of the environment.
The fight against terrorism and organised crime, which is the second priority for the average European, is not even in the Portuguese top five.
Regarding the future, the Portuguese reverse the European average: they are more pessimistic about their lives (29 percent think that their situation will get worse next year, more than the general 24 percent) than about the economy of their country (47 percent against the EU average of 53 percent).
Portugal is also among the three EU countries where there are more respondents who experience difficulties in paying the bills, either usually (15 percent) or occasionally (46 percent).
On the other hand, the Portuguese are above average (72 percent) in believing that the EU recovery plan will help the national economy to recover more quickly from the adverse effects of the pandemic (88 percent).
Among the citizens of the 27 Member States, the Portuguese also rank first in recognising the benefits of belonging to the EU, with 90 percent, which ensures second place in the overall table.
Furthermore, 78 percent of the Portuguese consider that being part of the EU is a "good thing", above the group average of 63 percent.
The 72 percent of respondents who consider that their countries have benefited from European integration highlight, among the advantages, economic growth (40 percent), a percentage which the Portuguese raise to 50 percent, also noting the improved standard of living and a "stronger voice in the world".
Between 2019 and 2020, 19 percent more Portuguese consider that the EU contributes to national economic growth.
Portuguese and Irish are the most approving of the idea of a European Union (86 percent).
Portugal also comes second (67 percent), behind Ireland, in the "positive image" of the EU, even though there are more Portuguese wanting a change in the way the EU is run (44 percent) than Portuguese approving of the EU as it is (42 percent).
The perception that the EU is "a good thing" has been increasing over the last decade - 78 percent of the Portuguese agree with it and it is in fact the Portuguese who least think that belonging to the EU is "bad" for the country (2 percent).
The Portuguese are above average in their satisfaction with democracy in their country (65 percent), but even more satisfied with democracy in the EU (74 percent, only behind Ireland).
A sign of this is the positive rating that most Portuguese people give to the European Parliament (54 percent, above the average) and the greater importance that they would like it to have (71 percent).
Parlómetro analyses European citizens' perceptions and perspectives on their lives, their countries and the EU institutions.