The European Parliament and Council have adopted a Commission proposal to phase out fossil fuel boilers for heating buildings in the EU by 2040. The majority of EU citizens disagree with the decision, according to research by Századvég.


The EU’s central institutions decided to tighten energy efficiency requirements for buildings at the end of 2023. Under the agreement, gas boilers should be phased out in all Member States by 2040, affecting around 30 million European families. The funding background of the decision, which could cost millions of forints per household, is unclear and has been criticised by several Member States, including Hungary. As Brussels has still not come up with an action plan detailing the feasibility and funding of this commitment, 15 Member States issued a joint resolution in May 2024 calling for this to be done.

In addition to the policy debates, the ban on gas boilers has a direct and increased impact on European families, so Századvég also surveyed citizens’ opinions on the issue as part of the Project Europe. The survey shows that the majority of citizens reject the commitment and only 36% support the decision.

Member States’ results show that Hungarians (71%), Romanians (69%) and Czechs (68%) are the least in favour of phasing out fossil fuels, with a relative majority rejecting the decision in 20 Member States. Only one EU country has an absolute majority in favour of a ban: Portugal, where 51% of respondents support the phase-out.

It is worth noting that the relative majority, with the exception of Spain, agrees with the decision in countries that are only marginally affected by it. Less than 0.5% of households in Malta, Cyprus, Finland and Sweden heat with gas, while Denmark banned the installation of fossil fuel boilers in new homes more than a decade ago and has previously committed to phase them out of its existing building stock by 2030.

• The Project Europe Research

In the first half of 2016, the Századvég Foundation conducted a public opinion survey covering the 28 Member States of the European Union to examine the views of European citizens on the issues that most affect the future of the Union. The Project28 public opinion survey was the most extensive ever, with a unique survey of 1,000 randomly selected adults per country, totalling 28,000. The main objectives of the survey were to gauge public sense of prosperity and to explore public attitudes towards the performance of the European Union, the migration crisis and rising terrorism. Following the surveys of 2017, 2018 and 2019, the Századvég Foundation, on behalf of the Hungarian government, continued the research since 2020 under the name Project Europe, which continued to reflect on the most dominant topics in European political and public discourse.

Once again, the 2024 survey aimed to explore public attitudes to the most important public issues affecting our continent. In addition to the public sense of prosperity, the performance of the European Union, the energy crisis and the migration crisis, and in line with the new challenges facing Europe, the main topics of this year’s public opinion poll are the rising geopolitical tensions, the perception of the media and child protection. The 2024 survey covered the European Union, the United Kingdom, Norway and Switzerland, and a total of 30,000 randomly selected adults were interviewed using CATI between 14 February and 15 April.