opinion poll



86% of Hungarians are against European or NATO soldiers fighting in Ukraine, according to a March opinion poll by Századvég. Following recent calls by several leading European politicians, echoing the war rhetoric of French President Emmanuel Macron, for European countries to send troops to support Ukraine against Russia, Századvég has examined the Hungarian public’s views on certain issues related to the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will pay a visit to the United States for several days, during which he will meet former US President Donald Trump, now the only Republican presidential candidate, on 8 March. Trump, just like Hungary, is for peace and calls for an early end to the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine to avoid more people dying in the war. As one of the main political divides between Joe Biden and Donald Trump in the US presidential election in November is expected to be the continuation of the war or the promotion of peace, Századvég has mapped out what Hungarians think about the current and former US president in this regard.

Nearly three quarters (72%) of Hungarians are against Ukraine joining the European Union as soon as possible, according to the latest Századvég poll. The rejection of Ukraine’s EU accession has been growing month by month since September 2023.

On 7 October, Hamas militants carried out a terrorist attack against Israel that claimed more than 1,400 lives, most of them civilians. In response to the action of the Palestinian terrorist organisation, Israel has launched a military operation in the Gaza Strip to destroy Hamas infrastructure. At the same time, mass demonstrations, not without antisemitic manifestations, in support of Palestine or Hamas took place in many major cities in Western Europe. In light of these developments, Századvég has mapped public attitudes towards the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The majority of European citizens believe that the punitive measures benefit America and China, while they harm Ukraine, Russia and the EU. Századvég’s research reveals that almost three times as many respondents think that sanctions are primarily damaging to the European Union as those who see Russia as the primary loser.

Sixty-eight percent of Hungarians consider the Brussels political elite corrupt, and those surveyed consider corruption to be the biggest problem related to the leadership of the European Union in Brussels, according to a June survey by Századvég. The survey mapped the attitudes of the population towards the activities of the Brussels elite.

On 8 June, EU interior ministers – with protests from Hungary and Poland – approved a package of proposals to reform the EU’s migration system, according to which Brussels would distribute illegal immigrants among Member States through a binding EU mechanism. According to the adopted document, countries that do not accept migrants assigned to them under the mandatory quota system must pay a penalty of EUR 22,000 (HUF 8 million) for each migrant not admitted. The next step in the decision-making process is to submit the proposal to the European Parliament. In view of these developments, Századvég has examined the position of Hungarians on the mandatory distribution of illegal migrants according to quotas planned by Brussels.

In the political arena, support for Fidesz-KDNP is 42 percent, while opposition alliance would achieve 25 percent in a parliamentary election if it was due this Sunday, according to the latest survey conducted by  Századvég. The research mapped the  party preference indicators among the politically active Hungarian population (promising participation in the elections for sure or likely).

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in February, following a summit of EU leaders, that the Hungarian government supports an immediate ceasefire to avoid more deaths. The Prime Minister stressed that "Hungary belongs to the peace camp". As Századvég's earlier analysis pointed out, various public figures in the international political arena criticised Hungary's commitment to peace in order to put pressure on Hungary. A public opinion poll conducted by Századvég in March explored what Hungarians think about the statements of these pro-war public figures and their possible consequences.

The Government of Hungary is pursuing a pro-peace policy in the context of the Russo-Ukrainian War, the main element of which is to promote an immediate ceasefire instead of encouraging further escalation of the conflict. In addition to the Vice-President of the European Commission, Vera Jourová, and U.S. Ambassador David Pressman, several international actors have criticised Hungary's position with the intention of exerting political pressure. Liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt complained that Viktor Orban was "still sabotaging sanctions against Russia" and demanded that Hungary’s voting rights in the European Council be revoked. In addition, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Jevhen Perebiynis expressed disappointment over Hungary “blocking sanctions against Russia”. In the context of these international criticisms, Századvég examined public attitudes towards the Russo-Ukrainian armed conflict and the sanctions policies of Brussels and the Biden administration.

Hungary has consistently taken a pro-peace stance since the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian War and calls for an early end to the armed conflict. In recent times, various attempts to exert pressure have become regular in the international political arena, aimed at making our country change its anti-war and anti-sanctions policy. According to European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourová, among others, "Hungary needs to be held accountable more often, especially for its position on Russia and the war", while David Pressman, the U.S. ambassador to Hungary, in response to Viktor Orbán’s calls for an immediate ceasefire, said there was no such thing as a “peace camp”. In view of international criticism, Századvég examined what the Hungarian adult population thinks about the European purchase of weapons for Ukraine, the issue of training Ukrainian soldiers in the European Union, and leading pro-war politicians.

In recent days, the killing of a young police officer in Budapest while on duty has caused a considerable stir in the Hungarian public discourse. His assailant, who had previously been convicted of violent crimes, stabbed him to death. The drug test showed the presence of drugs in the body of the suspect of the police killing. In connection with the tragic case, Századvég examined the Hungarian adult population's view of the prosecution of the perpetrators of violent crimes.

According to 6 out of 10 Hungarians, Brussels should strive for cooperation and compromise, and it has no right to withhold – not even partially – the payment of EU funds due to individual Member States, including Hungary – this has been revealed by the latest research conducted by Századvég. The survey mapped public perceptions on the disbursement of cohesion and recovery funds that Hungary is rightly entitled to.

Brussels made the absorption of EU funds that Hungary is entitled to subject to 17 conditions, and in December 2022, the European Commission adopted a partnership agreement with Hungary on the recovery and cohesion funds. However, the actual disbursement of a significant proportion of  these  funds is linked to the achievement of 27 'super-milestones', meaning that Hungary has not yet received part of the EU funds due to the country. Századvég has examined what the Hungarian adult population thinks about Brussels’ policy regarding EU funds.

During his official visit to Ukraine, Gergely Karácsony explained that the Hungarian government is "not honest" about the war, but "the Hungarian people are not the same as the Hungarian government" and "the majority of the people in Budapest understand exactly what is happening in Ukraine". Given that the Government of Hungary has been consistently calling for the start of peace negotiations and an early end to the war since the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict, the mayor gave the impression that the citizens of the capital do not agree with the government’s pro-peace policy. In the light of these developments, Századvég examined how the people in Budapest view public issues related to the Russian-Ukrainian war.

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