Project Europe



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.

Brussels is asking Member States for EUR 50 billion in additional funding for Ukraine. The proposal would not only impose a significant financial burden on the entire population of the EU but would also allow the armed conflict to drag on. However, EU citizens believe that the parties should instead be urged to negotiate peace and the war should end immediately.

As a result of the price rises caused by the energy crisis, the proportion of energy-poor households across Europe has increased significantly, with 22% of the EU population facing difficulties in heating. Hungarian families are the least affected by this problem thanks to the overhead cost reduction policy.

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.

Based on the results of the Project Europe Research conducted by Századvég, in all EU Member States, there are more people who believe that the sanctions are primarily harmful to the EU economy than those who believe that they are harmful to Russia. As a result of the punitive measures, the prospects are deteriorating: Almost three-quarters of Europeans think it is likely that their country will plunge into recession next year, and a quarter say it is already in crisis.

The European Union's attitude to the Russian-Ukrainian war is a key priority area of the Community's foreign policy. The intensity of the fighting is constantly increasing and, in addition to the warring parties, the burdens on Europe placed by the sanctions are also increasing. Despite this, the intention of bringing those affected to the negotiating table is not pronounced in Brussels’ efforts. However, based on the results of the research conducted by Századvég, Europeans would expect their leaders to work towards a peace agreement as soon as possible and a quick end to the war.

In the debate on sanctions affecting energy supplies, there are two opposing views in Europe. One is that Russian energy imports should be banned as soon as possible, forcing EU Member States to look for other sellers, even at the cost of damaging the security of supply. The representatives of the other point of views – instead of banning Russian supplies – would rather force Russia to compete by supporting the entry of new suppliers into the market, thus reducing the continent’s dependence. In the framework of the Project Europe Research, Századvég examined which position European citizens support.

Europeans are more satisfied with the response to the health challenges of the coronavirus pandemic than with economic and workplace protection measures. The government’s measures for solving the problems have been rated significantly higher by the Hungarian population. Among other things, these have been revealed in one of Europe’s most comprehensive surveys of 30,000 Europeans.

Migration is still a major public and political issue in 2021, both at EU level and in Member States. It is clear why this special interest has been maintained, as the number of illegal crossings at the external borders has significantly increased in the shadow of the pandemic. In addition, a new migration front has opened from Belarus. Meanwhile, the largest host countries are struggling with integration and/or repatriation difficulties. The Europe Project 2021 research sought to map EU citizens’ views on this wider phenomenon with the help of several questions. Responses show that, as in previous years, the majority (58 percent) still see migration to the EU as economic immigration, and almost the same proportion (55 percent) would preserve Europe’s Christian culture and traditions.

The modern alliance of the Visegrad countries have celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. For the regional cooperation, which initially advocated the goal of the transition from totalitarianism to democracy and the mutual promotion of Euro-Atlantic convergence, the preservation of the unique Central European identity and way of life has increasingly become a priority over the last decade and a half. The series of crises that have shocked the EU (financial, euro area, migration, coronavirus pandemics, energy), but especially the responses to them in Brussels, have brought to the surface several aspects of approach and interpretation that point to fundamental differences in the general way of thinking between Central Europe and other areas of the European Union. The differences are mainly due to the similar centuries-old historical experiences of the peoples of the region, the current reflection of which can be observed in the very similar values and cultural customs that characterise these countries. All this provides an appropriate framework for stabilising good and high-level political relations, enabling the Visegrad Group to assert its interests effectively within the EU, which has shown several concrete results in recent years. The survey of the Europe Project regularly conducted by Századvég, which currently covers 30 countries, is an excellent opportunity to point out areas where there are marked differences in values and vision between the V4 countries.

Europe’s demographic situation is characterised by the postponement of childbearing, low fertility rates, a declining birth rate and an ageing population. However, in order to reverse the negative trends, generally two different intervention instruments and a social narrative are at odds: the development of family policy and family support, and the different extent to which immigration is allowed. These two areas can have a significant impact on the populations of countries and on the well-being of their citizens. The Hungarian government has clearly stated its preferences with regard to this matter, so it has undoubtedly built up a large-scale family support system. In the framework of the Europe Project research, Századvég also examined the relevant climate of opinion in relation to the perception of the institution of the family and the main dilemmas on the subject.

There is a growing debate among the Member States of the European Union about the sustainability status and eligibility of nuclear energy. Századvég analysed the views of European citizens on technology, based on the Europe Project research.

The functioning and activities of the European Union and the political performance of the elite in Brussels are often at the heart of public discourse. The importance of these issues is further enhanced by the fact that Europe has been in a period of crisis for many years. The migration crisis that began in the summer of 2015, the coronavirus pandemic that hit the continent in 2020, and the economic difficulties that unfolded in the wake of the pandemic, have posed significant challenges for both EU and nation-state decision-makers. The analysis, based on a survey of 30 countries of the Europe Project conducted by Századvég, mapped public attitudes towards national and European identities, Member State sovereignty, the responsibilities and policies of the leaders in Brussels, and the functioning of the European Union.

The main topic of the next European Council meeting held on 21 and 22 October will be the European energy crisis. The two most important tasks faced by the Heads of Government are to decide on measures for mitigating the short-term negative effects of the crisis and to make proposals in the medium and long term to change the direction of Brussels’ failed climate policy, which is largely responsible for the situation. Based on the results of the Project Europe research, Századvég analysed the views of European citizens on the main dilemmas to be considered in decision-making.



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