European Union and U.S. Views on Ukraine Crisis

With ongoing turmoil in Ukraine, Americans express concern over the situation but continue to favor a more restrained foreign policy approach to the conflict with Russia. Over three-quarters (78{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) of Americans are very or somewhat concerned about the current situation in Ukraine. Yet, there is a strong preference to pursue economic and diplomatic measures (65{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) or take no action (28{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) over more aggressive, direct military action (6{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) (CNN/ORC Poll. May 2014).

Even if economic and diplomatic actions fail, a strong majority of Americans (59{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) would still not support military action. (CNN/ORC Poll. May 2014).

While the U.S. remains steadily in support of restrained involvement in Ukraine, Europe has many vested interests in relations with Russia and Putin (i.e. reliance on Russian oil and natural gas), and also much at stake in being worried about a more aggressive Russia in Europe . Accordingly, it is interesting to consider how European views towards the crisis compare with U.S. attitudes.

Even though the U.S. has less directly at stake regarding geographic and business interests with Russia, the U.S. has a historic obligation to support a united front with Europe in dealing with crises in Europe.  So, public attitudes in EU countries could have implications for US policy should there be any escalation in the situation in Ukraine.

Based on an April poll conducted by Ipsos of 11 European Union nations (Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden), European sentiment largely mirrors attitudes in the U.S.

As seen on the chart below, more than half (55{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) of citizens from the 11 EU nations agree their respective countries should do everything possible to support political and economic stability in Ukraine, yet there is more support for economic sanctions against Russia (43{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) over military action (26{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) (Ipsos Poll. April 2014).  However, despite relatively few Europeans agreeing with a mixed military approach, there is more openness to the possibility than in the U.S.

 chart 1

Sweden and Poland lead the EU in their support to impose economic scations against Russia – aligning with U.S. sentiment where 53{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Americans favor sanctions and 36{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} oppose (Pew Research Center/USA Today. April 2014).  Italy and Hungry are more hesitant about their country’s use of sanctions.

chart 2

With regard to military action, a plurality in every country tested, with the exception of Poland, opposed their country supporting a mixed military force to deploy as a buffer inside Ukraine.  However, reflecting the more direct interests Europe and the EU have in resolving instability in Ukraine and containing Russia, roughly a quarter of citizens from each country agree their country should consider using military force, a notably stronger sentiment than in the US.

 chart 3

With the EU seemingly more open to the possible use of future military force than the U.S., Americans and Europeans may at some point differ regarding the best course of action if stability fails and volatility in the region escalates. American public opinion is clearly reluctant to engage Russia directly in support of Ukraine and overall U.S. public attitudes have indicated an increased preference to become less active in world affairs.  Should the turmoil in Ukraine continue and public opinion in the EU shifts, U.S. policy makers may need to evaluate alliances with Europe and long term national interests tied to stability in Europe, despite U.S. reluctance.

Similar Articles

  • POS National Poll Release #3 – Socialist Trends
    read more

  • POS National Poll Release #2 – Israel
    read more

  • POS National Poll Release #1 – Trump Approval/Generic Ballot
    read more

  • Farm to Fork Initiative Survey Release
    read more

  • Testing the Electoral College: Question Wording Matters
    read more

Public Opinion Strategies helped us to clarify what we wanted to learn and then conducted research and analysis that shed light even beyond the questions we set out to ask. They were very receptive to our suggestions, responsive to our queries, and flexible when we needed them to be.

Public Opinion Strategies has consistently offered unparalleled advice and spot-on polling that has shaped how and where we spent money and deploy key resources. Additionally, they have always been an excellent steward of limited campaign resources, ensuring we spend wisely and not a dollar more than necessary in order to get the information we need.

Robert Blizzard and Public Opinion Strategies did a great job for us throughout our successful campaign for Congress. Robert gave us accurate data, spot on analysis, and professional advice, all of which were essential to our victory.

Public Opinion Strategies is one of our go-to pollsters when it comes to testing public support for bond ballot measures and other initiative proposals. They are available to provide ongoing consultation with regard to crafting of ballot questions, public outreach messaging, and related efforts.

ACLI has worked with Public Opinion Strategies for decades, through several tough industry battles—often ones in which public opinion does not naturally fall on the side of insurers. Yet Bill and his team consistently provide invaluable strategic advice by refining our messages and helping us frame our issues in a way that makes them understandable and persuasive.

The data from Public Opinion Strategies provided important insight and informed our public awareness campaign. We sincerely appreciate their professionalism and expertise in this arena.

Nicole McCleskey and the team at Public Opinion Strategies have been invaluable to me, both during my campaigns and as Governor of the State of New Mexico. It’s not just the accuracy of their numbers, but guiding the overall strategy that makes them so valuable.

Public Opinion Strategies has been a part of our team in Missouri for more than a decade. With their data and guidance, Republicans here were able to attain a majority in the House in 2002 for the first time in fifty years, and we have been able to grow that majority to the point that we now have a record, veto-proof majority.

In my tenure at two leading business associations, facing huge and complex consumer issues, I have benefitted enormously from the objective advisory skills of Bill and his team. They do their homework, they are rigorous, dispassionate and thoughtful. Turning questions into answers is a clever tag, but it’s also an apt description of the professional talents of the firm.

I consider Public Opinion Strategies to be a part of our team. That is the way we have always worked. They have helped us to understand our needs and fashioned research solutions to meet those needs. They have helped us to meet killer deadlines by being flexible, executing rapidly, and insuring quality. Teamwork is the best way to describe it.

Accuracy, speed, and deep knowledge of key issues and public sentiment are the hallmarks of quality opinion research, and on these measures Public Opinion Strategies consistently delivers. I have had the pleasure of working with Public Opinion Strategies for more than 15 years on dozens of issues, and they are undoubtedly the gold standard.

Public Opinion Strategies’ track record of success and wealth of experience in political campaigns and issue advocacy are why they are one of the most trusted and well respected public opinion firms in Washington, D.C. Their insights and perspectives have helped to inform a wide array of public affairs activities across multiple industries.