The share of Bulgarians who prefer an alliance with NATO and the EU to an alliance with Russia and Belarus is increasing

Against the background of the looming new division in Europe nearly a year and a half after the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, approximately twice as many Bulgarians would prefer the country to be in alliance with NATO and the EU than there are those who would choose an alliance with Russia. This is shown by the data from a nationally representative public opinion survey commissioned by the Open Society Institute – Sofia (OSIS), conducted in July 2023.

Nearly 45% of the respondents state that Bulgaria should position itself in an alliance with the NATO and EU countries in the event of a new division in Europe, similar to that of the Cold War era. 22% of those asked are in favor of an alliance with countries such as Russia and Belarus, nearly 4% would prefer neutrality/independence, and 1% are in favor of self-reliance/defending national interests. People who cannot decide or did not answer the question are close to 30%.

The data, compared to last year 2022, show an increase in the share of supporters of an alliance with the EU and NATO by 6% – from 39% in June 2022 to 45% in July 2023. The share of supporters of Russia and Belarus decreased, but slightly – by 1% from 23% last year to 22% this year.

More information and full text of the analysis on public attitudes towards the geopolitical orientation of Bulgaria.

About the survey

The cited data are from a nationally representative survey of public opinion conducted among the adult population of the country in the period July 9-17,2023 by the method of direct standardized face-to-face interview. The respondents were selected through a two-stage stratified sample by region and type of settlement with a quota based on gender and age. 1003 effective interviews were conducted. The maximum stochastic error at 95% guaranteed probability and at 50% share is ±3.1%. The field research was carried out by the “Trend” polling company, commissioned by the “Open Society Institute – Sofia” Foundation with the support of the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria.

Funding for the Active Citizens Fund was provided by Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein within the framework of the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Fund Operator of the Active Citizens Fund or the EEA Financial Mechanism.