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Ukrainians are ready to join the European Union and NATO says survey

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According to a recent research, 69% of Ukrainians support Ukraine joining the EU, 57% are ready for the country to join NATO - the results of the all-Ukrainian study performed by the sociological smart platform LibertyReport.ai on behalf of the most influential talk show in Ukraine, Freedom of Speech, by Savik Shuster and the OMF research foundation.

The survey was conducted from 12h on 11 March until 12h on 12 March. A representative sample of respondents included 1,510 people, representing the opinion of the entire country by gender, age, type and place of residence. The marginal error of answers - 2, 58%.

Sociologists asked respondents two questions:

- Do you support Ukraine becoming a member of the European Union?

- Do you support Ukraine joining NATO?

Citizens in a number of countries have been asked the same questions in referendums before joining the European Union or NATO: Sweden in 1994, Denmark in 1998, Malta, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia in 2003.

The results of the survey show that the number of people in Ukraine who want to live in the European Union has increased significantly. To date totaling 69% of citizens older than 18 years old.

According to research conducted by the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in 2018 48% of Ukrainians answered positively to the question of joining the EU, and 59% in 2019.

Men more often than women support Ukraine becoming a member of the EU - 75% and 66%, respectively.

Residents of the western part of the country have the most positive attitude towards joining the EU. In this part of Ukraine, 84% of respondents supported the country becoming a member of the EU. The lowest number of respondents supporting the EU integration is in the east - only 49%.

The opinion of residents of rural and urban areas does not differ significantly: 67% and 72%, respectively.

Among representatives of different generations young people aged 18-29 years look most positively towards joining the EU. 80% of respondents in this category support Ukraine becoming a member of the European Union. The elder generation, 60 years and older, is the least likely to support this event - 53%.

Of the 1,510 participants in the survey, only one quarter, 25%, spoke against the country becoming a member of the EU. The highest percentage of those who do not agree with the European integration was among the residents of the eastern regions of Ukraine - 43% and representatives of the older generation (60 years old and older ) - 37%. It is interesting that older people are more often hesitant to answer - 10% of representatives among the generation of 60+.

More than half of Ukrainians support joining NATO

A survey conducted by the sociological smart platform LibertyReport.ai showed that 57% of Ukrainians are positive about the country joining NATO. Two years ago, in 2019, only 46.5% of Ukrainians answered "yes" to the question about membership in the North Atlantic Alliance. (According to research conducted by the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.)

Men are significantly more positive about becoming a member of NATO than women - 70% of men and 51% of women support this idea. In addition, 10% of the women were hesitant to answer.

There are more supporters of joining NATO among the urban residents than among the rural residents - 61% and 54%, respectively.

The Ukrainian youth almost twice as often as the older generation is positive about joining NATO - 72% of respondents aged 18-29 answered "yes", and only 43% of participants of the survey aged 60 years and older agreed that joining the Alliance would be beneficial. Exactly half, 50% of Ukrainians ages 45-59, and 64% of respondents aged 30-44 support joining NATO.

The idea of Ukraine becoming a member of NATO was opposed by 36% of respondents. Remarcably, in the southern and eastern regions of the country, 56% of respondents said "no" to joining NATO, while in the west and the central regions - only 17% and 26%, respectively.

Teens today are choosing a European course for Ukraine

As part of a large survey, the LibertyReport.ai team also conducted a survey among 200 children aged 16-18 to find out whether they support joining the European Union and NATO. These results are not representative and speak rather of the current trend of public opinion among the younger generation. According to this survey, 83% of respondents aged 16 to 18 years old want Ukraine to be in the European Union and only 13% are against it, further 4% have not decided on their position yet.

78% of respondents said that they see Ukraine in the Euro-Atlantic Alliance. 15% of people aged 16 to 18 are against such a future for the country and another 7% are still hesitant.

Research methodology

These are the results of a national representative survey, conducted using the MIXED-MODE approach. It reflects the opinion of adult Ukrainians ages 18+.

In exactly 24 hours from 12:00 on March 11th till 12:00 on March 12th, 2021, 1510 people took part in the survey.

The principle of stochastic stratification by gender, age, place of residence, and type of settlement (rural/urban) was applied in the formation of the sample, which allows us to consider answers of respondents as a reflection to the opinion of all citizens of Ukraine in these categories. The maximum error possible is 2.58%.

The "MIXED-MODE" approach provides a combination of online interviews via the Liberty Report online sociological panel and the CATI telephone survey, in the proportion 70/30. This combination allows to promptly receive answers from representatives of all sociological strata (categories of citizens), including those who do not have access to the Internet. This ensures the representativeness of the received data.

For comparison, using the classical method of "face to face" interviews requires about a week to process a similar dataset. Such speed of processing data of sociological and marketing research by Liberty Report platform is achieved thanks to specially developed IT-algorithms using the principles of artificial intelligence and Big Data processing.

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EU countries should ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health

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MEPs urge member states to protect and further enhance women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in a report adopted today (11 May).

In the draft report approved by the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality by 27 votes in favour, six against and one abstention, MEPs point out that the right to health, in particular sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR), are fundamental women’s rights which should be enhanced and cannot in any way be watered down or withdrawn.

They add that violations of women’s SRHR are a form of violence against women and girls and hinder progress towards gender equality. They thus call on EU countries to ensure access to a full range of high-quality, comprehensive and accessible SRHR, and remove all barriers impeding full access to these services.

Access to abortion, contraception and sexuality education

Women’s Rights and Gender Equality MEPs stress that some member states still have highly restrictive laws prohibiting abortion except in strictly defined circumstances, leading to women having to seek clandestine abortions or carry their pregnancy to term against their will, which is a violation of their human rights. Thus, they urge all member states to ensure universal access to safe and legal abortion, and guarantee that abortion at request is legal in early pregnancy, and beyond if the pregnant person’s health is in danger. They also recall that a total ban on abortion care is a form a gender-based violence.

Furthermore, MEPs demand that EU countries ensure universal access to a range of high-quality contraceptive methods and supplies, family counselling and information on contraception.

They also urge member states to ensure access to comprehensive sexuality education for primary and secondary school children, as SRHR education can significantly contribute to reducing sexual violence and harassment.

The negative impact of the pandemic on women’s health

Regretting that access to abortion continues to be limited during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the effects the pandemic has had on the supply and access to contraceptives, MEPs urge EU countries to consider the health impact of this crisis through a gender lens and ensure the continuation of a full range of SRHR services through the health systems.

Rapporteur Pedrag Matić (S&D, HR) said: ‘‘In the text adopted today, we clearly call on member states to ensure universal access to SRHR for all, and demonstrate there is strength in the EP to counter those opposing basic human rights. Sexuality education, access to contraception and fertility treatments as well as abortion constitute some of the key components of SRHR services. This is an important step in ensuring that all EU citizens have access to SRHR and that no person is left behind in exercising their right to health.

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Civil protection: Council adopts new rules to strengthen disaster response

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The Council today (11 May) adopted a regulation to strengthen the EU civil protection mechanism. The new rules will allow the EU and the member states to better prepare for natural and man made disasters and to respond faster when they strike, including in cases which affect a majority of member states simultaneously, such as a pandemic. The text also sets out the funding of the civil protection mechanism in the context of the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027.

The proposed rules will allow the European Commission to address gaps in the area of transport and logistics, and, in cases of urgency, directly procure certain additional rescEU capacities. These rescEU capacities, as well as those hosted by member states, will be fully financed from the EU budget.

Prevention and preparedness will also be improved under the proposed regulation. The Commission, in co-operation with member states, will define and develop EU disaster resilience goals in the area of civil protection

The text sets out a total of  €1.263 billion in funds for the 2021-2027 period. It also includes an amount of up to €2.56bn to implement the civil protection related measures to address the impact of the COVID-19 crisis foreseen in the EU recovery instrument. This is an increase of over three times as compared to the 2014-2020 budget. It reflects the strengthening of the EU's collective response to disasters, including the recent establishment of a reserve of capacities (rescEU), the reinforcement of the European civil protection pool and the improvements in disaster prevention and preparedness.

Background

The EU civil protection mechanism was first established in 2001 and it coordinates the response to natural and man-made disasters at the EU level. Its objective is to foster cooperation among national civil protection authorities, increase public awareness and preparedness for disasters and enable quick, effective, coordinated assistance to affected populations.

The EU civil protection mechanism includes a European civil protection pool. This is a voluntary pool of capacities pre-committed by member states for immediate deployment inside or outside the EU. The civil protection mechanism was last amended in 2019, when an additional reserve of resources, called rescEU, was created to provide assistance in situations where overall existing capacities are insufficient.

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EU and Japan hold high-level policy dialogue on education, culture and sport

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On 10 May, Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Commissioner Mariya Gabriel held a videoconference with the Japanese Minister for Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Koichi Hagiuda (pictured), to discuss EU-Japan co-operation in the fields of their portfolios. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to continued cooperation and support from their respective programmes, and agreed to join forces on researcher mobility. This ongoing cooperation has taken on new significance during the COVID-19 crisis, which has hit these sectors hard.

Commissioner Gabriel said: “Education, culture and sport bring people together – to learn, to teach, to create and to compete. International cooperation in these areas will always lead to a better understanding – like between Europe and Japan. In Brussels, as in Tokyo, we are looking at the future of education and the digital transition. I was delighted to exchange ideas and good practices in this field, as well as in culture and sport, with Mr Hagiuda and his team.”

Ahead of the Summer Olympic Games in Japan, Minister Haiuda shared updates during the meeting on the organisation of such a large-scale event in these unprecedented times. Commissioner Gabriel and Minister Hagiuda also welcomed the progress of the three special joint EU-Japan Erasmus Mundus Master programmes in robotics, extended reality, and history, which were launched as an outcome of the first policy dialogue of July 2018. Finally, they both emphasised the importance of people-to-people exchanges and agreed to maintain direct discussions on a regular basis. The forthcoming EU-Japan Summit will further highlight the scale and breadth of cooperation under the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement. A joint statement and more information following today's meeting are available online.

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