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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:

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- 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.

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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.

Belgium

'When the Smurfs meet Monkey King'

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'When the Smurfs meet Monkey King' is a children's art exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Belgium.

The successful art exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Belgium in La Louvière, the birthplace of Surrealism in Belgium that ended on 24 October gave the opportunity to nearly 300 local primary and middle school students in just one week to depict their vision of friendship between China and Belgium.

On 17 October, during the opening ceremony, Françoise Ghiot, Laurent Wimlot, aldermen of La Louvière, and their guests from China and Belgium attended the event. Counsellor Yang Qing, wife of the Chinese Ambassador to Belgium, also recorded a video for the inauguration of the event.

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Counsellor Yang Qing said in her speech that she admired the exhibition held in La Louvière. Using pure and innocent artistic perspective, extraordinary creativity and imagination, the children have well defined the cultural elements of both countries. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Belgium with children’s eyes, sincere feelings, those future ambassadors of friendship have expressed their visions of a better collaborative future between the two nations.

Ghiot said in her speech that she was very happy on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Belgium to see children’s paintings from China. The art exhibition opened a skylight of artistic exchange for local children.

This children's art exhibition was jointly curated by the city of La Louvière, the Nardone Gallery, and Yellow Vitamines. Through the LPGA (Little Painter Global International Art Exhibition), covering 40 cities and 500 aesthetic education training institutions in China, 5000 children’s work were collected and 200 were finally selected to focus on Belgium. With the innocent help of children's brushes, imagination and understanding, art and culture provided an ideal medium to understanding differences and strengthening the bond between China and Belgium.

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Animal welfare

Commission carries out unannounced inspections in the animal health sector in Belgium

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The European Commission is conducting unannounced inspections at the premises of a pharmaceutical company active in animal health in Belgium.

The Commission has concerns that the inspected company may have infringed the EU antitrust rules that prohibit the abuse of a dominant position. The Commission officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the Belgian competition authority.

Unannounced inspections are a preliminary investigatory step into suspected anti-competitive practices. The fact that the Commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies are being found guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself.

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The Commission fully respects the rights of defence in its antitrust proceedings, in particular the right of companies to be heard.

The inspections are conducted in compliance with all coronavirus health and safety protocols to ensure the security of those involved.

There is no legal deadline to complete inquiries into anti-competitive conduct. Their duration depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of each case, the extent to which the companies concerned co-operate with the Commission and the exercise of the rights of defence.

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Belgium

Commission approves €45 million Belgian scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak

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The European Commission has approved a €45 million Belgian scheme to support companies active in the Brussels-Capital region affected by the coronavirus outbreak and the restrictive measures that the Belgian government had to implement to limit the spread of the virus. The public support was approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, which goes under the name 'la prime Relance', the aid will take the form of direct grants. Eligible beneficiaries are companies of all sizes active in the following sectors: nightclubs, restaurants and cafés (‘ReCa') and some of their suppliers, events, culture, tourism, sport and passenger transport. In order to be eligible, companies must have been registered in the Central Bank for Enterprises (‘la Banque-Carrefour des Enterprises' ) by 31 December 2020. The Commission found that the Belgian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the support (i) will not exceed €1.8 million per company; and (ii) will be granted no later than 31 December 2021.

The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU state aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.64775 in the state aid register on the Commission's competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

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