South Stream and EU Sanctions against Russia: Public Opinion in Bulgaria
20.08.2014

A new EuPI policy brief highlights public attitudes in Bulgaria towards two topical issues in the country and the EU: the South Stream gas pipeline and the EU sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. In regard to South Stream the favored option for South Stream appears to be construction with the consent of the EU after conforming to EUs rules with over 28,2% and is most favored among center-right supporters. The option of continuing with South Stream despite EU criticism and possible penalties is favored by 22% of respondents. In regard to EU sanctions against Russia over Ukraine, the largest share of respondents does not support any sanctions against any state with 40% and this view is identical among nearly all party groups (around 40% across the board).

More specifically, in regard to South Stream, the survey shows the following results:

  • The favored option for South Stream appears to be construction with the consent of the EU after conforming to EUs rules with over 28,2% and is most favored among center-right supporters.
  • The option of continuing with South Stream despite EU criticism and possible penalties is favored by 22% of respondents and is most popular with the socialists, their partner of the Turkish minority MRF and smaller parties (presumably nationalist ones).
  • The staunch opposition against South Stream construction that wants stopping the project altogether is less than 10%.
  • There are sizable groups among many party supporters, which do not have opinion on the issue and the overall share is 40% "dont know".

In regard to EU sanctions against Russia over Ukraine, the survey results are somewhat reminiscent to those about South Stream:

  • The largest share of respondents does not support any sanctions against any state with 40% and this view is identical among nearly all party groups (around 40% across the board).
  • The biggest opponents against tougher EU sanctions against Russia can be found among the socialist voters and the smaller parties (e.g. nationalists) with over 30% of the groups.
  • The staunchest supporters of tougher sanctions against Moscow are among the center-right voters of GERB and the Reformist Block with 19,5%-18,1%, but even in this case their percentage is identical of the opponents of sanctions within the same groups with 21,4% and 15,2% respectively.
  • Sanctions over Ukraine are less puzzling question with less than 30% not having opinion, with only exception being the MRF party supporters, where nearly 70% state they dont know.

Download link: "South Stream and EU Sanctions against Russia: Bulgarias Public Opinion" by Marin Lessenski, EuPI policy brief 44, August 2014

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