Ukrainians take a far more positive attitude to joining the EU and NATO

Ukrainians take a far more positive attitude to joining the EU and NATO

The number of Ukrainians wishing to join the European Union and NATO has increased significantly, a new survey has found. The survey, carried out on the 11th and 12th March, 2021, found that 69% of the 1,510 people polled were in favour of Ukraine joining the EU, up 10% on the numbers who were in favour in 2019.

A shift in direction

This study was commissioned by the popular talk show, Freedom of Speech, by Savik Shuster, taking a representative sample of Ukrainians aged 18 and over from all different backgrounds. They were asked whether they supported their country joining the European Union and whether they were in favour of signing up to NATO. With a very small margin for error, 69% of respondents were keen to join the EU and a further 57% were ready for Ukraine to sign up to join the NATO alliance of nations.

Overall, men seemed more sold on the idea of joining the EU than women, with 75% responding positively compared to 66% of women. There was also a large divide between eastern and western regions of the country, with those in the west far more likely to have a favourable opinion of the EU – here 84% of respondents wanted EU membership, compared to just 49% in more easterly regions. Young people, it seems, are spearheading this change in direction, with 80% of under-30s in favour of joining the EU compared to 53% of those aged over 60.

Support for NATO

There was also a more positive attitude towards NATO than there was in a similar poll in 2019. In the previous survey, only 46.5% of Ukrainians were keen to sign up to the alliance, whereas this year’s study found that figure had risen to 57%. Once again, men were far more likely to answer ‘yes’ when asked if their country should join, with 70% in favour compared to just 51% of women. A further 10% of women said they were hesitant to answer the question.

“57% are ready for the country to join NATO – the results of the all-Ukrainian study performed by the sociological smart platform on behalf of the most influential talk show in Ukraine “Freedom of Speech by Savik Shuster” and the OMF research foundation.”

The Ukrainian youth were also far more in favour than the older generations, with 72% of under-30s wanting Ukraine to join compared to just 43% of the over-60s. Overall, these figures show there has been a real attitudinal shift in Ukrainians’ opinions of both the European Union and the NATO alliance, making it far more likely that the country will apply to both in the coming years.