“Europe is running through a brick wall, and it is unclear if there is a way to turn back” - said István Kovács, the strategic director of the Center for Fundamental Rights, about the current direction of EU politics. The latest public surveys show that voters of European countries judge the sanctions introduced against Russia differently, compared to the liberal mainstream elite or Ursula von der Leyen, who has supported the sanctions when giving her annual review last week.
According to the survey conducted by Termometro Politico, the majority of Italians (51.1%) would immediately lift the sanctions. On the other hand, only 44% of them support these actions. In Greece, results of Eurofound’s survey show that 40% of the participants do not agree with the sanctions, moreover, only 29% of them are satisfied with policies executed by the European Union.
In Germany, half of the participants believed that the economic sanctions against Russia are ineffective. In relation to this, 47% found that the imposed sanctions harm Germany more than Russia. According to another 36 % of the respondents, the sanctions are almost as detrimental to the German economy as they are to the Russian.
Based on the survey conducted by De Stemming, last year healthcare was the main area of concern among (40%) Flemish people, which has now been taken over by energy (24%). The Flemish society appears to be divided regarding the sanctions, as only 50 percent of them support them. This is not surprisingly, given price increase is also a severe pain point for them.
According to BFMTV’s research, seven out of ten French consider the anti-Russian sanctions to be ineffective. 27% of the participants also believed that the financial situation of the French is more important than supporting Ukraine and introducing sanctions against Russia.
Based on recent surveys, 40% of Austrians do not support European measures introduced against Russia. Furthermore, 78% of the respondents believed that these sanctions negatively affect Austrian citizens.
According to a survey conducted by Demostat research centre, 80% of Serbs disapprove of Serbia introducing sanctions against Russia. The survey also touched on the question of the EU membership. Regarding which 51% percent of participants would vote no, while only 34% would vote yes to a potential EU membership in case of a referendum.
Based on a survey led by Századvég in August, the Hungarian public rejects the vast majority of sanctions introduced as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and are in favour of peace. This also clear when it comes to weapon-purchase or military training, as the rejection of the European Union and its member states buying arms for Ukraine is very high, around 81%. Likewise, a similar proportion of participants (77%) said no to the EU’s assistance in training Ukrainian soldiers. Most of Hungarian also reject sanctions imposed on Russian energy, tourism, or financial systems. They only support the sanction affecting the assets of Russian oligarchs, given 57% percent were in favour and only 37% rejected it.
Western European governments value empty ideologies more than the interests of their own voters. This attitude cannot be maintained for long within a democratic setting. Consequently, in Sweden, which is apostrophized as a liberal model state, the right-wing has already won. In Italy, general elections will be held at the end of September, which may end with a right-wing victory too. This clearly shows that it is not possible to manipulate the voters for long, and that the biggest opponent of the mainstream liberal elites is not Russia, but reality.