"Eurobarometer 98: Winter 2022 - 2023"

"Eurobarometer 98: Winter 2022 - 2023" survey data published

The "Eurobarometer 98" survey in Latvia took place from January 12 to 26, 2023, and during it 1,039 Latvian citizens aged 15 and over were surveyed. The survey was conducted by the leading research and consulting company "Kantar" in Latvia. "Eurobarometer 98" is the thirty-eighth "Eurobarometer Standard" survey since Latvia became a member state of the European Union (hereinafter - EU). The "Eurobarometer Standard" study is conducted twice a year, and within the framework of this survey, citizens' opinions on various issues relevant to the European Union and its member states are monitored.

Undoubtedly, the most important event in Latvia's domestic politics in 2022 against the background of Russia's invasion of Ukraine was the 14th Saeima elections, which took place in the fall of 2022 and in which 59.41% of eligible voters participated. Voter turnout in these elections was higher than in the fall of 2018, when the 13th Saeima elections took place and 54.6% of eligible Latvian citizens participated in them). After the elections, President Egils Levits entrusted the formation and management of the government to Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņas ("New Unity").

Significant events that attracted public attention in Latvia in 2022:

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited;
  • The Saeima adopted a statement on the recognition of Russia as a state supporting terrorism. Soon after the decision was made, the website of the Saeima experienced a cyber attack.
  • The Saeima also recognized the independence of the Latvian Orthodox Church from the Moscow Patriarchate;
  • The obelisk of the Monument to the Liberators of Soviet Latvia and Riga from the German fascist invaders in Victory Park was dismantled;
  • In the final reading, the Saeima supported the amendments to the Law on Education and the Law on General Education, which envisage gradually - until 2025 - the implementation of educational programs only in the national language;
  • A meeting of heads of state and government of the Joint Response Force was held in Riga.

A number of other topical topics also sparked wide-ranging discussions in society:

  • Latvian society actively expressed its condemnation of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and showed its support for the people of Ukraine by participating in various support actions;
  • High inflation in the country and rising cost of living;
  • The Spouse Law, which provides legal opportunities for all families in Latvia to receive legal protection, regardless of whether the spouses are married.

Countering Russia's war in Ukraine and supporting Ukraine emerged as the most important task of Latvia's foreign policy in 2022. From the first day of the war, Latvia has provided comprehensive political, military, financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and is one of the leading countries in the world in terms of GDP. The provided support amounts to 1% of Latvia's GDP, or more than 370 million euros.

Latvia will assume the presidency of the Council of Europe from May to November 2023, taking over this responsibility from Iceland on a rotating basis. During the six-month presidency, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia will lead the work of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

More: "Eurobarometer 98: Winter 2022 - 2023" survey data published (europa.eu)