Will public support for Ukraine continue? How has it evolved over the last 18 months?

These are the questions posed by many analysts as the war in Ukraine continues.

In the following graphs, we show how ongoing debates on energy security, energy-saving measures, and efforts to support Ukraine in defending itself against Russian aggression have influenced opinions across Europe from March 2022 to September 2023.

We regularly update this data on a quarterly basis to provide insights into the latest trends in EU sentiments toward Ukraine. However, in this edition, we focus on examining how this data has evolved over the 18-month period mentioned.

These questions can be categorized into two key areas of concern:

  1. The EU’s role on the global stage and its ability to reinforce that role
  2. The policies designed to support Ukraine in its war effort, including aspects such as weapons delivery, refugee acceptance, energy independence, economic and financial sanctions, EU enlargement and the development of a common European defence policy

It’s important to note that the most recent data featured in this report was collected in September 2023, just before the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel. In the coming months, we will closely monitor the extent to which this new security crisis may impact the attitudes of EU citizens.

  • This issue has been a consistent theme in our catalogue of trends tracked since 2015 (cf. eupinions.eu/de/trends).
  • Overall, a large majority of Europeans have continued to endorse the idea of the EU assuming a more prominent role in global matters (79% in September 2023).
  • The level of support varies across countries, ranging from 70% in France and the Netherlands to 87% in Spain.
  • This support has shown remarkable resilience, remaining high and steadfast throughout the last 18 months.

  • Europeans consistently hold the view that the EU should leverage both soft and hard power to be more active globally. 
  • Nearly 70% of respondents believe that the EU should possess military power, with support varying by country (not displayed in the graph), ranging from 59% in Italy to 79% in Poland.
  • Nearly 90% believe that economic strength, strong allies, and attractive values are crucial. Here, the country-specific values (not displayed in the graph) exhibit relatively minor variations (economic strength: 83% in the Netherlands, peaking at 93% in Poland and Spain / strong allies: from 83% in Italy to 90% in Poland and Spain / attractive values: from 86% in France to 91% in Poland).

  • Almost 90% of Europeans believe the EU needs a common defence policy.
  • Support for this remains consistently high over time.
  • There is only little variance on this between member states.
  • Spain and Poland demonstrate the highest levels of support (92% and 88%, respectively, as of September 2023). France shows the lowest level of support (83%).

Across the EU, support for providing weapons to Ukraine dropped somewhat in the fall of 2022. By March 23, it had bounced back, nearly reaching the level recorded in the spring of 2022 with a slight downward trend since then. Poles have consistently been the most supportive of this stance, with 71% in favour as of September 2023 (“EU27: Should your country…”), while Italians expressed the lowest level of support, at 40%.

  • But it still maintains a high level of support, exceeding 65%.
  • EU-wide, support has dropped by 11 percentage points within 18 months (86% to 75%).
  • Poland has seen the most substantial decrease in support (18-point drop, 83% to 65%). Germany saw a 16-point drop (86% to 70%) and France a 12-point decline (84% to 72%).

Across the EU, support for Ukraine’s integration into the EU has slipped from 69% in March 2022 but has remained steady at nearly 65% since last winter. Support is highest in Spain and Poland (79% and 75%, respectively, as of September 2023) and lowest in Germany (52%).

  • Support for energy independence remains high (63% EU-wide and above 55% in each member state).
  • But high energy prices has taken a toll in the last 18 months, resulting in an 11-point drop in support across the EU.
  • Poland saw the most significant drop, losing 18 percentage points, though it began from a very high starting point (86% in March 2022 to 68% in September 2023).  Germany saw a 16-point decrease (72% to 56%), the Netherlands a 15-point decline (73% to 58%), and France a 13-point dip (78% to 65%).
  • Belgium is the only country where support increased in the last quarter, reaching 70% in September 2023. 
  • Throughout the entire period, the Dutch and the Germans have remained the most sceptical about energy independence.

This represents a significant shift from a more optimistic outlook recorded in December 2022 (see above). A clear majority of 55% in the EU now believe that economic and financial sanctions are ineffective.


The eupinions data presented here aims to explore how European solidarity with Ukraine has been influenced by the ongoing war and its associated risks and consequences.

In brief, we observe the following trends:

General support for Ukraine remains relatively stable, with some challenges evident in three areas: weapons delivery, energy independence and acceptance of Ukrainian refugees. While the observed shifts in opinions are not dramatic, they are noteworthy.

In terms of EU enlargement, Poland and Germany warrant special attention. Poland has witnessed a significant decline in support for Ukraine's EU membership, experiencing an 12-percentage-point drop over an 18-month period. Meanwhile, Germany, exhibits the lowest level of support for Ukraine’s accession to the EU, standing at 52%.

In terms of support for Ukranian refugees, Poland has also witnessed an 18-percentage-point drop.

Moreover, a considerable share of Europeans are either highly sceptical (55%) or uncertain (22%) about the effectiveness of sanctions against Russia.

This recent decline in support may be interpreted as an early indicator of weariness stemming from the prolonged duration of the war and the absence of evident progress in recent months.

As we enter the election season, it would be prudent for national governments and EU leadership to clearly communicate the importance of support for Ukraine while articulating their policy objectives and the concessions inherent in these policies. This is particularly crucial, considering the fact that political entrepreneurs throughout the EU may seek to exploit doubts and uncertainty for their own political gain.

About eupinions

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!

Methodology note

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%.