Maltese Opinion on EU-Ukraine Solidarity
A recent Eurobarometer survey focusing on EU challenges and priorities has shed light on the views of the Maltese population regarding Ukraine solidarity and several key European Union issues. The findings reveal that while a significant majority of Maltese support the EU’s continued solidarity with Ukraine, there has been a noticeable decline in enthusiasm for financing the supply of weapons to Ukraine. This shift in sentiment might be attributed to various factors, including rising inflation and a decreased media focus on Russia’s actions in Ukraine. This article delves into the survey’s results, exploring Maltese perspectives on Ukraine, EU solidarity, military cooperation, sanctions against Russia, and more.
Support for Ukraine Solidarity
The Eurobarometer survey uncovered that approximately two-thirds of the Maltese population believes that the European Union should continue showing solidarity with Ukraine. This sentiment reflects a significant level of support for Ukraine’s struggle and the importance of maintaining a united front within the EU.
However, the survey reveals an interesting shift in Maltese sentiment regarding financial support for the supply of weapons to Ukraine. In April 2022, 74% of respondents expressed support for such financing, but by August 2023, this figure had decreased to 51%. This decline in enthusiasm for funding military equipment could be attributed to several factors, including economic concerns and a diminishing focus on Russia’s actions in Ukraine in the media.
Opposition to military assistance to Ukraine has reached an all-time low in Malta, with only 51% expressing support in August 2023, down from 74% in May 2022. Additionally, 42% of Maltese respondents oppose EU financing for the purchase of military equipment by Ukraine. Notably, this level of opposition contrasts with countries like Finland, where only 12% of respondents oppose military assistance to Ukraine.
The decline in support for military aid to Ukraine is most pronounced in Greece (55%) and Cyprus (65%). These figures may reflect weariness with the ongoing conflict, economic concerns, or other regional factors.
While there appears to be a decrease in enthusiasm for financing Ukraine’s military efforts, there is little sympathy for Russia’s government. The survey indicates that only 16% of Maltese respondents disagree with holding the Russian government accountable for the situation in Ukraine, with a substantial 84% squarely attributing responsibility to Russia. This percentage is even higher than the EU average, where 77% of respondents hold Russia responsible for the Ukrainian crisis.
When asked whether the EU should continue showing solidarity with Ukraine, 26% of Maltese respondents disagreed with the notion of continuing support. This figure is slightly higher than the EU average of 22%. Cyprus (47%), Greece (45%), Bulgaria (44%), Slovakia (41%), and Hungary (38%) had the highest percentages of respondents opposing more solidarity with Ukraine. In contrast, Portugal (8%), Estonia (9%), Finland (10%), and Sweden (11%) exhibited the lowest levels of opposition to solidarity with Ukraine.
Support for Increased Military Cooperation
Despite a decrease in support for military assistance to Ukraine, 68% of the Maltese population agrees with greater military cooperation between EU member states in response to the Russian invasion. However, this figure represents a 7-point drop in support for increased military cooperation between member states since May 2022. Support for this idea is slightly lower in Malta than in neutral Ireland, where 71% support enhanced military cooperation.
In Finland and Sweden, two formerly neutral countries in the process of joining NATO, support for enhanced cooperation surpasses the 80% mark, indicating a willingness to strengthen their defense capabilities in the face of geopolitical challenges.
Sanctions Against Russia
The Eurobarometer survey illustrates overwhelming support across Europe for maintaining sanctions against Russia as a punitive measure for its invasion of Ukraine. In Malta, 65% of respondents favor continuing these sanctions, which is slightly lower than the EU average but still reflects significant support. However, 28% of Maltese respondents oppose the sanction regime on Russia, slightly higher than the EU average. Finland stands out with only 8% of respondents opposing sanctions on the Putin regime.
Support for Ukraine’s EU Membership Bid
A majority of Maltese respondents (62%) express support for Ukraine’s EU membership bid, highlighting a belief in Ukraine’s alignment with European values and its potential future within the EU.
What factors might explain the decline in Maltese support for financing the supply of weapons to Ukraine?
The decline in support could be attributed to factors such as rising inflation and reduced media coverage of Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
Which European countries exhibit the highest levels of opposition to solidarity with Ukraine?
Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Hungary have the highest percentages of respondents opposing more solidarity with Ukraine.
What is the stance of the Maltese population on increased military cooperation between EU member states?
Approximately 68% of the Maltese population supports greater military cooperation between EU member states, although this figure has decreased since May 2022.
How does Malta’s support for maintaining sanctions against Russia compare to the EU average?
Malta’s support for maintaining sanctions against Russia is slightly lower than the EU average, with 65% of Maltese respondents in favor.
What is the prevailing sentiment in Malta regarding Ukraine’s EU membership bid?
A majority of Maltese respondents (62%) support Ukraine’s EU membership bid, demonstrating confidence in Ukraine’s alignment with European values.
September 22, 2023
September 21, 2023
September 18, 2023