The flag of the European Union in Helsinki on Europe Day, 9 May 2023. Finns widely perceive membership in the 27-country bloc as a positive, particularly after Russia launched its unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, according to a study by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum (Eva). (Eeva-Maria Brotherus – Lehtikuva)

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OVER 60 PER CENT of Finns feel positively and 17 per cent negatively about the Finnish membership in the EU, reveals a value and attitude study conducted by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum (Eva).

The popularity of the membership has thus remained at the record-high level it climbed to after Russian launched its unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

“EU criticism is found particularly in people who are very displeased with the functioning of Finnish society. While Finns generally have reservations about the state of democracy, Finnish democracy is perceived particularly badly by those with a negative attitude toward the EU,” stated Sami Metelinen, the managing editor at Eva.

The study found that attitudes toward the 27-country bloc are positive especially among 18–25-year-olds, over 65-year-olds, highly educated people and students.

Membership in the bloc is regarded as a positive most widely by supporters of the Swedish People’s Party (93%), Green League (88%), Social Democrats (88%) and National Coalition (80%). The membership is regarded as a positive also by more than half of supporters of the Left Alliance (75%) and Centre (69%).

Supporters of the Christian Democrats are more likely to view the membership as a negative (42%) than positive (29%), according to the survey. The most negative attitudes are found among supporters of the Finns Party, with 57 per cent feeling negatively and 22 per cent positively about the membership.

Also Finns Party supporters, though, have become more supportive of the membership after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In 2021, only 14 per cent of them felt positively about the membership.

A total of 2,043 18–79-year-old Finns responded to the survey between 31 January and 13 February.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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