Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shifted the opinion of a majority of Finns in favour of NATO membership
The Finns’ opinion of Finland becoming a NATO member has shifted from reserved to clearly in favour. The exceptionally rapid, large and broad-based change in attitude is based on the understanding that a fundamental change has taken place in the Finnish military security environment and that the threat posed by Russia has increased. A clear majority of Finns think that Finland should make a decision on NATO membership by the end of this year at the latest.
EVA has carried out a broad study of Finns’ views on NATO membership as part of its Values and Attitudes Survey conducted in spring 2022. The results will be published in several parts during March–April 2022, and this will be the first part. EVA has been surveying Finnish opinions on NATO membership annually since 1998. It is the longest-running regular monitoring of opinions on NATO membership in Finland.
60 per cent of Finns support Finland’s NATO membership and 19 per cent oppose it. The proportion of those in favour of membership has increased by 34 percentage points from last autumn.
60 per cent think that the decision about NATO membership should be taken this year, with 41 per cent in favour of taking it already in the next few months and 19 per cent in favour of taking it before the end of 2022.
48 per cent would support Finland’s NATO membership even if the Finnish state leadership did not.
The data for the survey was gathered during the second and third weeks of the war in Ukraine, between 4 and 15 March 2022.
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