Since March 2022, we have been collecting data on European perspectives regarding measures to support Ukraine in its war effort.
We have been tracking how the ongoing debate concerning energy security, energy conservation measures, and efforts to support Ukraine in defending itself against Russian aggression have influenced views across Europe over the past 21 months.
Our data shows that overall support has remained high and consistent.
In September 2023, we expanded our survey to include questions that explore issues beyond the war and address economic and financial concerns.
These questions are as follows:
Do you think the EU should support Ukraine financially to rebuild the country?
Do you think the reconstruction of Ukraine will be an economic burden or an economic opportunity?
Economic and financial sanctions on Russia are supposed to support Ukraine in its war effort. Do you think these sanctions are effective?
In the following, we will present the collected data and discuss their implications.
- 56% of Europeans state that Ukraine should receive financial support “to rebuild the country.”
- Support for assistance is highest in Spain at 70% and lowest in France at 48%.
- The level of explicit opposition to aid is lowest in Spain and highest in Germany.
- 59% of Europeans believe the reconstruction of Ukraine will be an economic burden for the EU.
- This expectation is most pronounced in Germany, where 70% share this view, and least pronounced in Poland, with 47% holding this belief.
- Only Poles perceive more opportunities than risks for the EU in relation to Ukraine’s reconstruction efforts.
- The level of confidence in the effectiveness of sanctions varies, ranging from 14% in France to 30% in the Netherlands.
- The French population displays the lowest level of confidence in the effectiveness of sanctions.
Every three months, we survey Europeans to assess their opinions on core policies aimed at supporting Ukraine in defending itself against the Russian invasion. We have observed strong and stable support over time.
However, in our September 2023 survey, we introduced questions specifically focused on the reconstruction of Ukraine. This addition revealed a different perspective when people were asked about the economic and financial impacts of the war in Ukraine.
In short, we have seen the following developments emerge:
56% of Europeans believe that the EU should provide financial support to Ukraine for its reconstruction efforts. This majority is particularly strong in Spain and Poland, but it is weak in most other member states.
59% of Europeans believe that the reconstruction of Ukraine will place an economic burden on the EU rather than present an opportunity.
55% of Europeans believe that the economic and financial sanctions imposed on Russia are ineffective, while only 23% consider them effective.
These numbers stand in contrast to the data previously collected. As we enter the election season, political leaders should take note of this discrepancy, which presents a campaigning opportunity.
Leaders across Europe should articulate more clearly why support for Ukraine is relevant to their constituencies. They should also clearly outline their policy objectives, along with the associated opportunities, risks and trade-offs. This is particularly crucial, considering the fact that radical political entrepreneurs throughout the EU may seek to exploit doubts and uncertainty for their own political gain.
eupinions is an independent platform for European public opinion. We collect and analyse data on European public opinion and comment on what Europeans think about current political issues and megatrends.
Every quarter, we collect samples from each EU member state in 22 languages.
Our data is representative with regard to age, gender, education and country/region.
eupinions is a Bertelsmann Stiftung project. The data is collected by Latana.
Visit www.eupinions.eu for further information!
The samples analysed in this report were drawn by Latana in March (with a size of n=13,208), June (n=13,220), September (n=13,204) and December 2022 (n=13,300) as well as in March (n=13,270), June (n=13,322) and September 2023 (n=13,287) across all 27 EU member states. Our samples take into account current population distributions with regard to age (16-70 years), gender and region/country. In order to obtain census representative results, the data were weighted using the most recent Eurostat statistics.
Any references to differences between countries in the report pertain only to the seven countries with sufficiently large sample sizes: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland and Spain.
Given the sample size and design-effect considerations, the margin of error is 1% for March and September 2022, as well as June 2023, and 0.9% for June and December 2022, and March and September 2023, all at a confidence level of 95%.