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A recent survey conducted by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum (EVA) reveals that 64% of Finns hold a positive attitude towards their country's membership in the European Union, while 17% remain critical of the Union. This record-high approval rating for EU membership was observed after Russia launched a large-scale attack on Ukraine in February 2022.

The study, which focused on Finnish attitudes towards the EU, found that those who hold negative views of the EU are particularly dissatisfied with the functioning of Finnish society.

While Finns generally have reservations about the state of democracy in the country, those who hold negative views of the EU are particularly pessimistic about the state of Finnish democracy. Only 6% of those with a negative view of the EU believe that democracy works well in Finland and that concerns about the lack of citizen influence are unfounded. In contrast, 76% of this group does not view Finnish democracy as working well. Overall, 33% of all Finns consider democracy in the country to be functioning well.

The survey also found that the age group that holds the most positive views towards EU membership are those between the ages of 18-25 and those over the age of 65. The most pro-EU views were also held by those with academic backgrounds, students, and supporters of the Swedish People's Party, the Green Party, the Social Democratic Party, and the National Coalition Party. A majority of supporters of the Left Alliance and the Center Party also hold positive views towards EU membership. In contrast, Christian Democratic Party supporters were more negative (42%) than positive (29%) towards EU membership.

The study also found that supporters of the Finns Party, a right-wing populist party, were the most skeptical of the EU, with 57% holding negative views. However, the party's supporters have become slightly more positive towards the EU after Russia's attack on Ukraine, with 22% now holding positive views, up from 14% in 2021.

The survey was conducted between January 31 and February 13, 2023, and included responses from 2,043 individuals aged 18-79 (excluding Åland). The results have a margin of error of 2-3 percentage points in either direction. The respondents were selected through a randomized sampling technique and were representative of the population in terms of age, gender, location, education, occupation, industry, and political affiliation. The data was analyzed by Pentti Kiljunen from Yhdyskuntatutkimus Oy.

This study is part of a long-standing series of surveys conducted by EVA on the values and attitudes of the Finnish population since 1984. The results of this survey provide valuable insights into the opinions of the Finnish public on the EU and democracy. It is clear that while the majority of Finns view their country's EU membership positively, there remains a significant proportion of the population who are critical of the EU, and this skepticism is linked to broader concerns about the functioning of Finnish democracy.

HT

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