Voice of the People: Public Opinion of European Citizens on the War in Ukraine

EU citizens’ fears: inflation, war, bottlenecks in energy supply

The biggest concerns of EU citizens at the moment are rising prices, fear of a widening war and possible shortages in energy supply. Issues  that were on the list of top priorities a month ago, such as Covid pandemic and climate change, have faded into the background.

Energy supply

Awareness of the dependence of one’s own country on Russian energy imports is high (79% on average in the EU); only Sweden considers  itself largely independent of Russian energy. Switching to renewable energy sources to be less dependent on Russian energy supplies is  welcomed across all countries (91%).

National security

More than half of EU citizens fear that the equipment and operational capability of their country’s army is unsatisfactory. 52% say their  country’s defense spending should be increased. The majority of 60% is in favor of a common EU army. The desire to build a common  European army is highest in Portugal and Poland, Belgium, Lithuania, Spain and Romania.

Support for Ukraine

  • More than half of EU citizens believe that we have already provided sufficient support to Ukraine, 43% would like to see even more help. Portugal, Spain, Ireland, France, Finland and Sweden show the most solidarity.
  • There is a high willingness to accept refugees in the EU: More than 90% of EU citizens are in favor of taking in refugees. 50% of them advocate an unrestricted admission of refugees, 44% prefer a limitation.
  • Only one fifth of EU citizens are strictly against admitting Ukraine to the EU. 52% say Ukraine should join the EU, 27% are undecided. Poland, Estonia, Portugal, Lithuania, Ireland and Spain are most in favor of Ukraine joining the EU.
  • 42% agree with the EU’s sanctions against Russia, and 43% would even like to see more sanctions. Only 15% say the sanctions are too strict – this opinion is most common in Greece, the eastern EU countries Bulgaria, Slovakia and Hungary, and the non-EU country Serbia.

Attitude towards the EU

61% see big cohesion among EU member states, and for 63% the EU is a stabilizing world power. The vast majority (78%) believes that the  EU should play a more active role in world politics in the future. Compared to the other member states, the mood towards the EU is most  negative in Greece and Bulgaria. The EU accession country Serbia is also critical of the EU.



Method: CAWI-Interviews (Computer Assisted Web Interviewing);  Target Group:Population aged 18 years and over; Sample24.509 interviews in total; 23.004 interviews in 24 EU-countries (per country: representative of the (web-active) population 18+); 1.505 interviews in 2 Non-EU-countries: Serbia and Switzerland (per country: representative of the (web-active population 18+); Fieldwork: 7th -22rd March 2022


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