No European country has majority support for sending troops to Ukraine, according to the Századvég Europe Project research. The analysis, based on the survey, explored European public opinion on the issue of military engagement in Ukraine, following several statements by French President Emmanuel Macron suggesting the need for military intervention by European countries in the war in Ukraine.

Macron’s war hunger could put Europe at risk

The fact that Emmanuel Macron did not rule out the possibility of “sending ground troops” in a formal context to Ukraine to stop Russia at the Paris summit he convened on 27 February has caused a major stir in international and European public discourse.

Hungary made it clear immediately that it will not send troops or arms to Ukraine,

while Germany, Italy and Spain, among others, distanced themselves from the French President’s statement. In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons against countries that would send combat troops to help Kyiv.

Macron later confirmed that every word he said about Western military intervention was “measured, thought out and considered”, and during a visit to Prague in early March, the French president accused European countries of cowardice for not sending troops to Ukraine.

European public opinion is strongly opposed to military intervention

It is important to underline that the statements of President Emmanuel Macron calling for military intervention are in stark contrast to the expectations of Europeans. The research shows that

more than two thirds (67%) of EU and UK citizens are against sending troops to Ukraine, and no European country surveyed has a majority of respondents who would support Kyiv by sending troops.

The results of the survey are inseparable from the fact that the possible presence of Western military forces in Ukraine would lead to an immediate escalation of the Russia-Ukraine war, the European countries becoming belligerents and a dramatic increase in civilian and military casualties.

• The Project Europe Research

In the first half of 2016, the Századvég Foundation conducted a public opinion survey covering the 28 Member States of the European Union to examine the views of European citizens on the issues that most affect the future of the Union. The Project28 public opinion survey was the most extensive ever, with a unique survey of 1,000 randomly selected adults per country, totalling 28,000. The main objectives of the survey were to gauge public sense of prosperity and to explore public attitudes towards the performance of the European Union, the migration crisis and rising terrorism. Following the surveys of 2017, 2018 and 2019, the Századvég Foundation, on behalf of the Hungarian government, continued the research since 2020 under the name Project Europe, which continued to reflect on the most dominant topics in European political and public discourse.

Once again, the 2023 survey aimed to explore public attitudes to the most important public issues affecting our continent. In addition to the public sense of prosperity, the performance of the European Union, climate change and the migration crisis, this year’s polls focus on the Russia-Ukraine war, the energy crisis, energy supply and family policy, in line with the new challenges facing Europe. The 2023 survey covered the European Union, the United Kingdom, Norway and Switzerland, and a total of 30,000 randomly selected adults were interviewed using CATI between 26 April and 22 June.