The ongoing war in Ukraine is the third asymmetric shock within the last two decades, which the European Union (EU) has failed to prevent and, most importantly, contain. The war creates economic, social, and political conditions that affect certain EU states far worse than others. Just like the 2008 financial crisis and the more recent COVID-19 pandemic. So, the war in Ukraine is another striking reminder that the EU continues to fail in creating a true coalition between its member states at a state and social level

The social level divide has become more evident in the recent poll by The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), covering over ten member states. Unsurprisingly, it demonstrates solid pan-European support for Ukraine and condemnation of Russia by supplying Ukraine with both military and economic aid. In addition, the EU member states back Ukraine’s bid to become a part of the European Union. However, the ECFR poll also brings to light a growing split between what the European population believes should be the EU’s collective end goal in the Ukraine war.

EU Statistics on Ukraine-Russia War

On the one hand, we have the “Peace” camp, which is 35% of the populace. Then we have those that wish to see the war end immediately even if it means Ukraine has to make concessions. While its counterpart, the “Justice” camp, accounts for 25%.

I feel that the EU should not only directly assist Ukraine in regaining its sovereignty. Yet, more importantly, it must punish Russia for its invasion even if it means a more significant loss of life and prolonging the European Union’s current economic hardship.

The remaining 43% are broken up into two camps. The first one is the “Swing voters” camp, who attribute not all, blame Russia for most of it. Yet they bounce between each center from time to time. They were followed by the fourth and final camp labeled “The Rest” camp who has a less binary understanding of how the war should be concluded. The conservative party generally leaned towards the “Justice” camp, and left-wing parties in large were part of the “Peace” camp. This is true except for German politics, its right-wing parties prefer the EU and their government to adopt the “Peace” camp policy.

Such is the divide regarding what should be the EU’s long-term goals.

As the war rapidly approaches its fifth month, it presses both the individual EU states and the EU itself to find a new narrative that would bridge the break between the two differing camps.