Budapest, Hungary – Less than half of Hungarians would be in favour of Ukraine’s EU membership, according to a recent poll.
Based on the latest Eurobarometer looking at how Europeans perceive the war in Ukraine and assess the EU’s response to it, 48% of Hungarians either totally agree or tend to agree with the statement that “Ukraine should join the EU when it is ready”.
Hungary is the only member state where less than half of the population supports Kyiv’s membership bid. EU-wide, 66% of Europeans declare themselves in favour.
More than one third of Hungarians (36%) are against Ukraine joining the EU, with the remaining 16% still indecisive.
Other countries with the lowest rates include Bulgaria (51% in favour), Luxembourg (52%), Austria, Greece, and Slovakia (54% each), while the strongest support can be observed in Portugal (87%), Estonia (83%), Lithuania (82%) and Poland (81%).
The latest Eurobarometer also found that Hungary had among the lowest share of its population following news related the war in Ukraine on a regular basis – and the single lowest among countries that share a border with Ukraine.
Most Hungarians (76%) say they are personally worried about the war, with a similar share of respondents declaring they feel sympathy towards Ukrainians.
Some 57% of respondents in Hungary agree with the statement that “Russian authorities are responsible first and foremost for the current situation”, far below the EU average of 78%.
Ukraine officially applied for membership to the European Union in late February shortly after the start of the Russian invasion.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, as well as several Central and Eastern European countries (including Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and the three Baltic states), stated they were in favour of Kyiv joining the bloc under a special accelerated procedure.
Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto also said Hungary backed the initiative.
Member states are expected to discuss the issue at an upcoming EU summit in June.