Two-thirds of people in Ireland favour allowing Ukraine to join the EU

Two-thirds of people in Ireland favour allowing Ukraine to join the EU

Ursula von der Leyen pledged during last week's state of the union address that Ukraine would get 'seamless access to the single market'. 65% of Irish survey respondents back the candidate member joining the EU. Picture: Jean-Francois Badias/AP

Two-thirds of people in the country are in favour of allowing Ukraine to join the EU, according to a new national opinion poll.

The Red C poll conducted on behalf of European Movement Ireland shows that 65% of those polled back the Government’s call to allow Ukraine to join the EU.

A similar number, almost three in five people in Ireland, agree that EU countries should be allowed to delay meeting EU environmental targets in order to deal with the current energy crisis.

The poll also found that an overwhelming majority of people in Ireland, some 86%, are concerned that the cost-of-living crisis is harming the EU economy.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine nears its seventh month, 65% of people are in favour of Ukraine joining the EU, with 62% of people also agreeing that the EU should continue to allow more countries to join as member states.

The poll also shows that half of people believe the security situation in Europe means that Ireland should increase its defence spending, while 34% disagreed and 16% did not know.

When asked if Ireland should be part of increased EU defence and security co-operation, 59% agreed, up 5% from the year before.

Sentiment toward the EU remains largely positive with 56% of those polled saying the EU is moving in the right direction.

A larger majority, 72%, said the introduction of the euro single currency has been a positive development for Ireland, with 18% saying it has had a negative impact on the country.

European Movement Ireland CEO Noelle O’Connell highlighted the EU's response to the current energy and inflation crises. File picture: EuropeanMovement.ie 
European Movement Ireland CEO Noelle O’Connell highlighted the EU's response to the current energy and inflation crises. File picture: EuropeanMovement.ie 

Meanwhile, almost one third of people, some 31%, believe there will be a united Ireland in the EU in the next 10 years, while 43% disagree and 26% do not know.

“This is undoubtedly a challenging time for people with both the cost-of-living crisis and the energy crisis,” said European Movement Ireland CEO Noelle O’Connell. “However, we must remember that the climate change crisis hasn’t gone away either.

“The European Commission last week presented three proposals to bring electricity costs down for Europeans, including a cap on the excess revenues of non-gas electricity producers, a windfall tax to recoup some of the huge profits energy companies are making, as well as comprehensive reform of the electricity market.”

The poll was conducted in two tranches, with the latest taking place in August. The first was conducted in March this year, which was a special edition of the poll to mark the 50th anniversary of Ireland’s vote to join the EEC in May 1972. 

Both polls were conducted among a representative sample of 1,001 people aged 18 and over.

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