European Interest

Eurobarometer survey: EU citizens’ support for Ukraine is solid


Democracy remains the most important value EU citizens want Parliament to stand up for. 72% of respondents believe their country has benefited from being an EU member.

Democracy, human rights and free speech are paramount to EU citizens as they call on the European Parliament to defend these values on which our Union is founded. These are some of the key insights from the European Parliament’s Autumn 2022 Eurobarometer survey, of which results were published today.

74% of EU citizens approve of the European Union’s support for Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, according to the survey conducted between 12 October and 7 November 2022. In all EU Member States, a majority of citizens approve of the EU’s support, with highest support levels shown in Sweden (97%), Finland (95%), the Netherlands (93%), Portugal (92%), and Denmark (92%). Ten months into the war in Ukraine, support for the concrete measures taken by the EU – such as sanctions against the Russian government or financial, military or humanitarian support to Ukraine – continues to be equally high at 73%.

Parliament’s latest Eurobarometer survey confirms European citizens’ steadfast commitment not only to supporting Ukraine, but moreover to the values the European Union is built upon. Asked which values the European Parliament should defend as a matter of priority, democracy (36%) is mentioned most frequently, followed by the protection of human rights in the EU and worldwide (29%) and freedom of speech and thought (28%). Citizens want to see these founding values of the EU protected and defended in the EU and abroad. These very same values are defended on a daily basis by Ukrainians since the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops.

“Russian aggression has caused terrible human suffering and massive destruction. The courage and resilience of Ukrainians in the face of terror is impressive. The best response and support we as European Union can give is European solidarity and European unity. Ukrainians can count on the unwavering support of the European Parliament,” said EP President Roberta Metsola.

The impact of the Russian war in Ukraine is felt clearly by European citizens. Because of the war and its consequences, close to two thirds of EU citizens believe that their life will change (65%), +4pp compared to April/May 2022.

At the same time, citizens see the real value of being part of the European Union, with 72% of Europeans saying that their country has benefited from being a member of the EU. Asked about the reasons why their country has benefited, respondents most often refer to the EU’s contribution to maintaining peace and strengthening security (36%, +6pp as compared to November/December 2021). The biggest increases are observed in Latvia (+16 pp), Lithuania (+15 pp), Estonia (+12 pp), the Netherlands (+13 pp), Malta (+11 pp) and Poland (+11 pp) – indicating the effect the Russian war against Ukraine might have had. Among the other reasons given, benefitting from cooperation between EU countries (35%, +3 pp) and the EU’s contribution to the country’s economic growth (30%, =) stand out.

A presentation of these results can be found here.

The European Parliament’s Autumn 2022 Eurobarometer was carried out by Kantar between 12 October and 7 November in all 27 EU Member States. The survey was conducted face-to-face (CAVI in Czechia and Denmark). 26.443 interviews were conducted in total. EU results were weighted according to the size of the population in each country.

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