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21 червня 2017
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Visa-free regime for Ukraine – public opinion

Nationwide polling of the population of Ukraine was conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Razumkov Centre from June 9-13, 2017. A total of 2,018 respondents ages 18 and older were polled across all regions of Ukraine with the exception of the Crimean Autonomous Republic and the occupied territories in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. The theoretical margin of error was 2.3%.

Polling was conducted on the financial support of the MATRA Program of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ukraine.

For the sake of comparison, data of polling conducted in 2013-2016 by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF) in collaboration with the Razumkov Centre and the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) are provided.

  • 34% of the population today have a foreign passport (in May 2016 – 30%). Among them 7% have a new biometric foreign passport, 8.5% – an old foreign passport with a valid Schengen visa and 20% – an old foreign passport without a valid Schengen visa. Residents of the West (11%) have the highest number of biometric passports and youth up to 30 years of age (12%). Residents of the East (2.5%) and people over the age of 60 (2%) have the lowest number of biometric passports.
  • Among those who do not have a biometric passport, 7% plan to apply for one this year and another 28% are also planning to submit an application for such a passport, but later, and 45% are not planning at all to apply and another 13% are undecided as to whether they need a biometric passport or not. The greatest difference between having a foreign passport and the intention of receiving one is in age: among the generation that is older than 60, around 84% do not have any foreign passport and 78% do not have any intention of applying for such a passport.
  • Introduction of a visa-free regime with EU countries is important and very important for 39% of Ukrainian citizens. A visa-free regime is most important for residents of the Western region (53%) and the Central region (44%). It is less important for residents of the South (23%) and the East (25%). The age differences are even more significant: a visa-regime is the most important for youth aged up to 30 years (60%) and the least important – for those over the age of 60 (21%).
  • 32% of Ukrainian citizens have the intention of traveling to countries of the Schengen Area, first and foremost, youth (56%). The main purpose of travel is tourism (64%), visiting relatives and friends (22%), working visits (18%), while 22% hope to find gainful employment abroad.   The majority of the population (62.5%) knows that a visa-free regime does not give Ukrainians the right to work in Schengen countries, while 15% feel that such a right exists.
  • In general, only 14% of Ukrainians feel that they know the rules of a visa-free regime with EU countries and another 50% know somewhat about these rules, but did not especially learn them, and 35% know absolutely nothing about them
  • 38% of Ukrainians consider themselves Europeans, while 55% feel they are not. The highest European self-identity is inherent to residents of the Western region of Ukraine (53%), while in the other regions the feeling of being European is much lower: in the Central region – 37%, in the South – 35% and in the East – 30%.  The age differences are considerable: those who feel themselves the most European are the youth – 49% and the leastpeople of the older generation who are older than 60 years of age – 27%.
  • In order to feel European a certain level of material well-being is necessary, first and foremost 59% of Ukrainians feel this way, while citizens in all regions and all age groups are solidary in this. The feeling of being protected by the law (36%) and respect for democratic values and people’s rights (26%) are in the top three factors that are most important for European identity
  • 57% of Ukrainian citizens support Ukraine joining the European Union in the future, 8% of the population gives preference to a Eurasian Economic Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and 25% support non-affiliation with any union. Support of a Eurasian Union (just like other variants of a union with Russia) sharply fell after 2013 from 30% to 8%, while support of accession to the EU rose – from 42% to 57%. However, at the same time the percentage of those who feel that Ukraine should not join a union neither with Europe nor with Russia rose – from 13% to 25%.
  • Support of joining the EU is higher in the Western region (79%) and in the Central region and is lowerin the Southern region (32%) and in the Eastern region (41%), where a considerable share of residents give preference to not joining any of the two unions (43% in the South and 32% in the East).
  • As to age differences, youth aged up to 30 years (69%) and in the age group of 30-39 years (64%) supports integration with the EU the most. People of age older than 60 years (41%) support integration with the EU the least, while non-affiliation with any of the two unions has considerable support (35%) in this age group.

Survey results

 Do you have the foreign passport? (choose all the answer options that suit you)

I have a new biometric foreign passport


I have an old foreign passport with valid Schengen visas


I have an old foreign passport, but without valid Schengen visas


No, I don't have foreign passport


If you do not have the biometric passport, are you going to obtain it this year?

I already have biometric passport


Yes, I’m going to obtain it this year


I’m going to obtain it, but later


I’m not going to obtain foreign passport at all


Difficult to say


How important is the introduction of the visa-free regime with the EU-countries for you?

Very important


Generally important


Slightly important


Not important at all


Difficult to say  


Are you going to go to any of the Schengen countries?

Yes, definitely


Most likely, yes


Most likely, no


Definitely not  


Difficult to day  


If you are going to one of the Schengen countries, then for what purpose?*

to those, who are definitely or most likely going to go to any of the Schengen area countries

For study, internship etc


Visiting relatives and friends


Employment abroad


Work visits 




Cultural exchange


Sports competitions




Permanent residence




* The response rate is over 100%, since it was possible to mark several answer options

In your opinion, does the visa-free regime with Schengen countries give Ukrainians the right to work in these countries?





Difficult to say   


Are you familiar with the rules of entry and stay in the countries of the Schengen Area?

Yes, I got acquainted and I know these rules well


I know something but didn’t specifically study them


No, I don’t know anything about it  


Not answered


Do you consider yourself a European

Definitely, yes


Rather, yes


Rather, no


Definitely not


Difficult to say


In your opinion, what is needed to make you feel a European? Choose up to three answer options

A certain level of material well-being  


Respect the values of democracy and human rights 


Be able to go to the European countries without visas  


To feel yourself protected by law


Be able to elect the government in free democratic elections


To feel yourself a free person  


To know foreign languages


To know the European culture


Nothing is needed, Ukrainians are already Europeans  


I think there is no need that Ukrainians feel themselves Europeans




Difficult to say


If you had to choose only one option, what Union, in your opinion, should Ukraine join in the long term?

The European Union (EU)


The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)


Should not join neither the European, nor the Eurasian Union


Difficult to say


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