Citizenship and the EU

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The war has not led to a deterioration in the image of the institutions, but quite the opposite, a boost that allows the existence of support for the measures and sanctions

The latest standard Eurobarometer from the European Commission, number 97, has gone virtually unnoticed, showing a substantial improvement in respondents’ perception of the image of the European Union, its general situation, support for sanctions and Ukraine in light of Russian aggression and, in general, with regard to the future of the EU. There is a clear improvement in all these aspects compared to the previous issue, which was released in the spring and which was already quite positive.

It should be noted that, despite the uncertainty in the European panorama due in particular to the Russian war in Ukraine and its economic effects on European society, the Eurobarometer results show an increase in satisfaction with the institutions. It is even possible to see how confidence in the European Union is around 50%, with data comparable to 2008, that is, before the economic crisis. At the same time, the positive image of the Union has also increased to almost 50% and is comparable to 2009. It should also be noted that this image is much more positive than that in national panoramas and institutions.

The Russian aggression against Ukraine, which began on February 24, has direct consequences for the European Union, its Member States and its citizens. For this reason, the EU has adopted a series of sanctions (grouped into seven packages) in response to this aggression, while measures have been adopted to mitigate the effects this aggression is having on the economy. This has resulted in more than half of citizens, almost 60%, being satisfied with the EU’s response to this new challenge, with Portugal, despite its distance from the conflict, being the Member State most satisfied with the measures; and Greece least.

Of all the actions launched by the European Union, the most received support related to humanitarian aid (supported by more than 90% of the population), economic aid to Ukraine (almost 80%) and almost the same share supports sanctions against Russia. However, with regard to EU military aid to Ukraine, aid is much lower and does not reach 70%.

As for the direct consequences of the war and the European Union’s support to Ukraine through the seven sanctions packages, we can say that almost 90% of European citizens agree with all measures aimed at strengthening investment in renewable energy sources to simultaneously reduce Russia’s energy dependency and the reduction of consumption and imports of non-renewable energy. Citizens have agreed, albeit at a lower percentage (about 80%), on the reduction in gas consumption agreed by the Member States.

Spain’s position in this area is in most cases above the European average, for example in supporting humanitarian aid or the reception policy for Ukrainian refugees and in taking sanctions against Russia. However, Spain is below the European average in terms of satisfaction with the European response, with only 52% of Spaniards doing so and almost 10% of those polled having taken no position on this.

In this sense, the perception of the Spaniards towards the EU has increased slightly, although it is comparable to the European average, but has remained lower in terms of the existence of a positive image of the EU, which has only been reduced by 44%. of the Spaniards is shared. The future of Europe for 65% of Europeans is an optimistic scenario, returning to levels of two decades ago, in 2007, before the economic crisis that deteriorated the EU’s image and future. In Spain, 71% of citizens share this positive vision of the future of the EU.

For all these reasons, we can conclude that the perception of European citizens has more confidence in the European institutions than six months ago, despite the new challenges and challenges such as those in the economic and energy fields; as well as concerns about the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, where there is an immediate concern that, contrary to ‘a priori’ belief, this has led not to a deterioration of the image of the institutions, but of everything. on the contrary, an impulse that enables support for European measures and sanctions in this area.

Source: La Verdad

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