According to the results of a poll commissioned by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), a majority of Europeans support Ukraine’s application for EU membership.
In all countries surveyed, 57 percent supported Ukraine’s EU membership, while 19 percent opposed such a move, according to ECFR.
Poland, which is at the center of the crisis, is the most supportive of Ukraine’s EU accession.
70 percent of respondents in Poland supported Ukraine’s accession to the EU, followed by 69 percent in Portugal and Finland and 66 percent in Sweden. In Spain (58 percent) there is also a majority in favour.
Germany and Italy showed the greatest opposition to Ukraine’s EU membership bid.
Almost a third (32 percent) of respondents in Germany and just over a quarter of French (26 percent) and Italians (28 percent) are against Ukraine joining the EU.
However, the prevailing view in these three countries was still in favor of Kyiv joining the bloc (48 percent, 47 percent and 46 percent, respectively).
Russia is widely blamed for starting the conflict and is also seen as the biggest obstacle to peace.
More than 80 percent of respondents in Poland (83 percent), Sweden (83 percent), Finland (90 percent) and the UK (83 percent) blame Russia for this war – a view shared by strong majorities in Italy (56 percent), France (62 percent) and Germany (66 percent).
A comparable picture emerges when it comes to the question of the main blockade of a possible peace agreement.
In each country, a majority or multitude of citizens see Russia as the main obstacle, with this view being most pronounced in Finland (where 87 percent said so), Sweden (82 percent), the United Kingdom (76 percent), Poland (74 percent) and Spain (69 percent).
There is strong support in Europe for derailing Russia.
A majority of respondents believe that national governments should sever economic and cultural ties with Moscow, and a prevailing view is also that their country should sever diplomatic ties with Russia.
Europeans are divided between those who want “peace” and those who want “justice” out of the conflict.
In the 10 countries surveyed, 35 percent belong to the “peace” camp and 22 percent to the “justice” camp.
Another 20 percent can be described as swing voters – a grouping of those who cannot decide between the imperatives of peace and justice, but who nonetheless broadly support EU action in response to Russia’s war on Ukraine.
The peace camp is most clearly supported by Italians, of whom 52 percent chose this option, while Polish responders lead the way in support of the justice camp, with 41 percent prioritizing punishing Russia and restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity .
Most Europeans want to end the war as soon as possible, even if it means territorial losses for Ukraine.
While Europeans show solidarity with Ukraine, only Poland holds the most widespread view that punishing Russia for its aggression should be an immediate priority.
There is a feeling that governments are too focused on war at the expense of other issues facing their own citizens, ECFR said.
42 percent of respondents said their governments spend too much time on the war in Ukraine, while 36 percent were satisfied with the attention given to the conflict and 4 percent said there was too little focus on the war.
There are significant disagreements between countries that share a land border with Ukraine.
In Poland, 83 percent of respondents blame Russia for the conflict, compared to just 58 percent in Romania, while 74 percent see Russia as the biggest obstacle to peace – compared to 42 percent in Romania.
Poles and Romanians also differ in the strength of their solidarity with Ukraine. For example, 71 percent in Poland – and 54 percent in Romania – support more economic aid to Ukraine.
The delivery of additional weapons to Ukraine is supported by 78 percent in Poland compared to only 46 percent in Romania.
The two countries differ most markedly on the idea of sending troops to Ukraine.
Poland is among the few countries where agreement outweighs disagreement (by 46 percent to 30 percent); Romanians, on the other hand, are clearly against sending troops (by 44 percent to 26 percent).
So geography is not the most important factor determining citizens’ attitudes towards the war, the ECFR said.
(Photo: EC Audiovisual Service/Lukasz Kobus)
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