For the past two years, the conflict in Ukraine has seen support from EU citizens for a joint defence policy.

Germany and the European Union are facing a crucial year in regards to their relationship with Ukraine. With the 2024 election year looming, a new survey conducted by the Bertelsmann Foundation has revealed the current sentiments towards Ukraine among German and EU citizens.

The survey, conducted two years after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, found that an overwhelming majority of citizens in both Germany and the EU support a joint defence policy for the EU. 87% of EU citizens and 86% of Germans expressed their support for this idea.

But it’s not just on the defence front that citizens are showing their support for Ukraine. The survey also found that a majority of EU citizens continue to declare their political and military support for Ukraine. This includes providing armaments, taking in refugees, and ensuring independence from Russian energy supplies. Additionally, a majority of EU citizens are in favor of allowing Ukraine to join the EU.

However, the level of support for Ukraine varies among different political affiliations. In Germany, supporters of centrist parties are more likely to support arms deliveries to Ukraine, with 78% of Green party supporters in favor. Supporters of the SPD, FDP, and CDU/CSU also showed strong support at 74%, 72%, and 65% respectively. On the other hand, supporters of the far-right AfD party largely reject supporting Ukraine, with 82% against providing armaments, 76% against taking in refugees, and 81% against EU accession.

Isabell Hoffmann, Bertelsmann Foundation Europe expert and head of eupinions, points out that support for the European Ukraine policy is strongest among those who place themselves on the political left or centre-left. However, she also notes that overall support for Ukraine has declined since the outbreak of war, but remains at a high level.

The survey also revealed that support for EU accession is lowest in Germany, with 52% against it. Hoffmann emphasizes that this is something that both the EU and Germany need to take seriously, especially with the upcoming European Parliament elections in June and the US elections. According to Hoffmann, these elections are of paramount significance for Ukraine and the European security order. She also stresses the importance of the large majority in favor of a European defence policy, as it supports decision-makers in the EU who are looking to strengthen their own security.

The Bertelsmann Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Reinhard Mohn in 1977, aims to ensure that everyone can participate in society, whether politically, economically or culturally. Their program focuses on education and the next generation, democracy and cooperation, digitalization and the common good, Europe’s future, health, and a sustainable social market economy. According to Isabell Hoffmann, the foundation’s Europe expert, this survey serves as a reminder that people are the ones who can move, change, and improve the world, and it is crucial to listen to their voices. For further information, visit

For media inquiries, please contact Isabell Hoffmann at +49(0)30 27 57 88126 or via email at

Derick is an experienced reporter having held multiple senior roles for large publishers across Europe. Specialist subjects include small business and financial emerging markets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *