War in Ukraine increases support for the EU

Martin Krchnacek | Unsplash

The war in Ukraine has brought Europeans’ support for the EU to the highest levels in fifteen years. This is the key takeaway from the latest Eurobarometer survey, published on Wednesday, 22 June.

Almost two thirds (65%) of EU citizens see EU membership of their country as positive. Not surprisingly, this feeling is particularly strong in the Baltic states of Lithuania and Estonia which have seen a 20 and 9 points increase as compared to the last survey conducted in late 2021. Due to their proximity to Russia, these countries feel increasingly under threat of Putin given his aggression against Ukraine.

The war has had repercussions among citizens from all The 27 countries that are part of the EU. See the list of all members here. Member States, with only 10% seeing Russia positively today as compared to 30% in 2018, when the question was last asked. What’s more, only one third (37%) of Europeans feel confident that the war in Ukraine will not change their life. This means: the war in Ukraine affects most Europeans.  

One way that Europeans feel the war is through rising prices and increasing costs of living. Although this was an issue before the invasion, Russia’s war against Ukraine has intensified the problem.  Now forty percent of Europeans are experiencing an impact on their standard of living. Still, 59% think defending the EU’s values such as freedom and democracy is so important that they support this even at the cost of higher prices and cost of living.

In general, 52% of Europeans see the EU as positive, while only 12% have a negative image of the bloc, though numbers vary massively from 76% having a positive image in the Republic of Ireland to only 32% feeling this way in Greece.

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