The Spanish, divided on whether Spain should intervene with NATO in the face of an invasion of Ukraine

The Barometer of the Elcano Royal Institute reflects that 80% of Spaniards are in favor of remaining in the Atlantic Alliance

The perception of Russia as a threat to security increases among Spaniards

The Europeanism of the Spanish has experienced an increase, according to the study

The vast majority of Spaniards (80%) are in favor of remaining in NATO; a percentage much higher than the 57% obtained in the referendum on joining the Alliance in 1986. In the midst of tension over the deployment of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine and the threat of a virtual invasion, public opinion is divided over whether Spain, together with NATO, should intervene militarily in the event of a war conflict between Russia and Ukraine. This is reflected in the Barometer of the Elcano Royal Institute released this Friday. According to the study data, 48% of the Spanish population is in favor of an intervention and 52%, against. Women are more opposed than men, a trend that is also reflected in the youngest. The deployment of more than 100,000 Russian soldiers on its border with Ukraine has caused an increase in the perception of Russia as a threat: from 5% a few months ago to 34% this February, thus occupying the first position in the perception of a threat to security. In second place is Morocco and in third place, jihadist terrorism. Despite this reference to jihadist terrorism, in Spain the perception of risk of a terrorist attack is low, according to the Barometer of the Elcano Royal Institute. The interviewees consider that the main measure against this terrorism is the control of the websites that promote
radicalization. As for the priorities in foreign policy, the fight against climate change continues to lead the list among the Spanish. It does so at a distance from a compound block
for three objectives: development aid, support for Spanish companies abroad and the supply of gas, oil and electricity. The rise in electricity prices has caused a significant increase in
attention paid to this goal of energy supply. According to the study, the interviewees point to the promotion of renewable energies as the main measure that public institutions should take to combat climate change, with a great difference compared to other policies, such as promoting sustainable mobility. On the other hand, the research shows an increase in the Europeanism of the Spanish, to the point that the option against the EU – those who consider membership to be detrimental to Spain – has been reduced to less than a fifth. It reached 42% in the previous economic crisis (2014) and is now marginal (8%). satisfaction with
membership of the EU reaches 91%, continuously increasing in recent years.However, the Barometer of the Elcano Royal Institute reflects that despite this almost unanimous Europeanism, the level of information of the Spaniards on European affairs is low: three quarters (75%) do not know what the New Generation Funds are, despite their importance for the Spanish economy, and 93% do not know what the Conference for the Future of Europe is, the EU’s attempt to involve the citizens of all the Member States in the debate about their future. On the other hand, 55% of Spaniards believe that Western powers such as the European Union or the United States should employ economic sanctions against authoritarian states.

The Spaniards are pessimistic about the situation in the southern Mediterranean countries, which they rate as poor (3.9 out of 10). Only 23% believe that this situation will improve. The vast majority (76%) consider that the problems in North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean affect Spain, and that our country should act in the area to help solve them (74%). In relation to Palestinian-Israeli conflict, a majority of Spaniards (54%) believe that the creation of a single State in which Jews and Palestinians have the same rights is the best option to solve the conflict compared to 38% who are committed to the existence of two independent States. Another issue that interviewees have been asked about is Afghanistan, where the Taliban became with power last August. When asked what the European Union should do about the situation of the Afghans who are trying to leave the country, the preferred alternative (67%) is that the EU supports neighboring nations so that refugees are welcomed there, compared to the option of being welcomed by the EU countries (33%). In many of the issues dealt with in this Barometer, a significant difference can be seen depending on the position of the interviewees in the left-right ideological parameters. People further to the left are more in favor of hosting Afghan refugees in Europe, they perceive few external threats to Spain, they are more reticent about NATO, they more often choose climate change as the main axis of Spanish foreign policy. They are also less concerned about terrorism and irregular immigration and more likely to use economic sanctions against authoritarian states. The people located further to the right are much more concerned than those in the center or the left about everything related to security: are the ones
perceive more threats to Spain, are that they support an increase in defense spending by the EU. They are more concerned about Morocco as a source of possible threats to Spain, and also more concerned about
irregular immigration and choose energy supply as the main objective of Spanish foreign policy, and avoiding irregular immigration as the main policy in relation to the southern Mediterranean.

Media, social networks and ‘fake news’

The television (with 54%) continues to be the main means used to find out about current affairs, followed by printed or digital press (41%) and social networks (41%)with the radio in last place (18%). There are large differences according to age: the elderly (45 or over) continue to use television above all, followed by newspapers, while those under 30 receive information mainly through social networks. The confidence in veracity of the news that arrives through social networks is low (4.0 on a scale of 0 to 10) and decreases with age, although in no case does it reach the pass mark.

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