Framing Public Perception of the Challenges to the EU Foreign Security and Defence Policy. Focus Groups as a Method of Investigation
This report presents the results of twelve focus groups carried out in six European countries (France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain) and addressing topics of concern for the study of EU foreign security and defence policy. In particular, participants were engaged in discussions on three main topics: (1) the most pressing international challenges and the role of the EU in addressing and responding to them; (2) the war in Ukraine; and (3) citizens’ view of the role of their country on a conflict or crisis in which the EU is involved (for France and Poland: Iran; for Germany and Greece: Serbia-Kosovo; for Italy and Spain: Libya). The objective of such investigation was threefold: explorative, to understand how people envisage a complex reality such as the one related to international politics; interpretive, to inductively explore the ideas and feelings people have of problems in this policy sector; finally, constructive, to inform the design of a large scale, cross-national public opinion survey on the same topics to be conducted in May 2023.
2. Opinions about the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy
2.1 What are the most pressing international challenges your country is facing? Most urgent issues and envisioned solutions
2.2 Strengthening international cooperation and EU integration
2.2 What international actors would you call a superpower and what feature makes it so? Can the EU be defined as a “superpower” and should it become one?
2.3 European army
3. The public opinion on the war in Ukraine
3.2 Individual countries and the EU’s responses to the war
3.3 Economic sanctions
3.4 Military aid
3.5 The way forward
4. The opinion on the selected case studies