Survey | 

Irish satisfaction levels over Government’s response to Ukraine invasion among highest in EU

81pc of people in the Republic expressed satisfaction compared to the EU average of 55pc

The Taoiseach and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

People inspect a residential building destroyed by a strike, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Mykolaiv, Ukraine. REUTERS/Umit Bektas© REUTERS

Seán McCá

Satisfaction levels among Irish people over the Government’s response to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia is among the highest of the citizens of any EU member state.

The results of a survey commissioned by the European Commission shows 81pc of people in the Republic expressed satisfaction with the Irish government’s reaction to the war in Ukraine compared to the EU average of 55pc.

Together with Denmark, it was the joint second highest satisfaction rating for a national government by its citizens after Finland with 88pc.

Almost three-quarters of Irish respondents (74pc) also approved of the EU’s response to the crisis, considerably higher than the EU average of 57pc.

The Eurobarometer poll of almost 26,500 people across the EU, including over 1,000 in the Republic, also showed very high levels of support in Ireland for a series of sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

It found 90pc of Irish people backed the economic sanctions imposed on the Russian government as well as Russian companies and individuals – the 5th highest rate in the EU after Portugal (94pc) and Denmark, Poland and Sweden (each 93pc).

People inspect a residential building destroyed by a strike, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Mykolaiv, Ukraine. REUTERS/Umit Bektas© REUTERS

Irish people are also among the strongest supporters of the EU providing finance for the supply and delivery of military equipment to Ukraine.

The survey showed 86pc of Irish respondents agreed with financial aid measures given to Ukraine for the purchase of military equipment – the joint fourth highest approval rating in the EU.

Asked what they feared the most as a consequence of the war in Ukraine, Irish people said that it would spread to other countries in Europe (36pc) followed by increasing inflation and rising prices as well as a nuclear war (both 33pc).

According to the results, 90pc of Irish people believe the war in Ukraine poses a threat to the security of the EU, with 77pc believing it threatens the security of Ireland.

A similar proportion also claimed they would support greater co-operation in defence matters at EU level.

In response to the energy crisis created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 86pc of Irish respondents said they had taken measures to reduce their own energy consumption or planned to do so in the near future – the second highest level among all EU citizens after Malta.

More than two-thirds of Irish people (68pc) surveyed said the war has had serious financial consequences for them personally – slightly higher than the EU average of 62pc.

The survey showed that 7pc of Irish people claimed they struggled to pay bills most of the time in the past 12 months, with 31pc stating it was a problem which occurred from time to time.

Despite the war in Ukraine and its economic impacts on Ireland, Irish people emerged as the most content of all EU citizens in the 27 member states together with Danes.

The survey showed 97pc said they were happy with the life they lead, compared to the EU average of 85pc.

Irish people also remain more upbeat than many other EU citizens about their personal job situation.

The figures revealed that 77pc of Irish respondents judged their current employment position as good, including 22pc who believed it was “very good”.

Asked about their expectations over the coming 12 months, however, 45pc said they believed the situation in Ireland would become worse with only 6pc stating they expected things would get better.

Almost half of all Irish respondents – 48pc of those surveyed – identified housing as the most important issue facing the country followed by health (23pc) and energy supply (15pc).

The survey was carried out in June and July 2022 in advance of the latest round of price increases announced by energy suppliers..

Ireland was one of only two of the 27 EU member states together with Luxembourg which ranked housing as the single biggest issue facing their country.

Asked what issue affected them personally the most, 70pc of Irish respondents said rising prices, inflation and the cost of living with 15pc claiming it was housing – three times the EU average of 5pc.

The Eurobarometer poll also revealed high levels of mistrust among the Irish public towards political parties and the media.

In contrast, respondents in Ireland expressed relatively high levels of trust in the justice system, gardaí, army and public administration as well as medical staff.

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