President Sauli Niinistö delivered the opening speech at the signing ceremony of the joint declaration concluding the military accession process to NATO membership, hosted by the President of the Republic at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki on June 12, 2023. LEHTIKUVA

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Recent findings from the Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA's Value and Attitude Survey reveal a strong and consistent positive sentiment among Finns towards NATO membership, with EU support also reaching unprecedented levels. The survey, conducted among 2,045 Finns aged 18-79 (excluding Åland), between September 15 and 27, 2023, indicates a significant alignment in national opinion on these critical international alliances.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • A substantial 77% of Finns view the country's NATO membership positively, a sentiment that has remained steady since Finland's NATO application in May 2022. Negative views are held by only 8%, with 14% taking a neutral stance.
  • Support for the EU has risen to 68%, a remarkable 18-percentage point increase over three years. This upswing in EU positivity reflects the evolving international political climate and the impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
  • NATO is seen as more critical for Finland's national security than the EU, though both enjoy broad support across demographic groups.
  • The least support for NATO is found among Left Alliance voters (50% positive), while the majority of the Finns Party supporters (52%) express negative views on EU membership.

Sami Metelinen, EVA's editor-in-chief, notes, "Finns show no sign of regret over the decision to join NATO. The collective consensus demonstrates a thorough commitment to align with the Western defense alliance." He also observes that security is a unifying topic in Finland, explaining why NATO membership enjoys more unequivocal support than the EU.

The survey highlights a significant shift in Finnish attitudes towards the EU, especially among the Finns Party supporters. In autumn 2020, 74% were negative towards the EU, but this figure has now dropped to 52%. Conversely, positive views among this group have risen from 10% to 27%.

Metelinen summarizes, "Security issues resonate strongly with the Finnish public, which is why NATO membership commands more unreserved support than EU membership."

The results, with a margin of error of 2-3 percentage points, are representative of the Finnish population in terms of age, gender, region, education, profession, industry, and political affiliation. The detailed breakdown of results by demographic groups is available on EVA's website. EVA has been conducting these value and attitude surveys since 1984.

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