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Citizens’ Pulse: Finland's measures at the eastern border receive strong support; over half of respondents say they would restrict the right to apply for asylum

Government Communications Department
Publication date 15.12.2023 14.15
Press release

Respondents to the December Citizens' Pulse survey said the measures Finland has taken at the border with Russia have strengthened their sense of security and Finland's response to Russia's efforts to exert influence has been sufficient and timely.

Of all respondents, 70 per cent said Finland's actions at the border had strengthened their sense of security and 60 per cent said Finland's response had been sufficient and timely.

The survey was carried out on 5–11 December before the latest decisions the Government took last week, first to open the border crossing points for a short period at Vaalimaa and Niirala and then on Thursday evening to close the border again completely.

Of the respondents, 56 per cent would be prepared to restrict the right to apply for asylum in Finland.

In addition to border measures, the Citizens' Pulse survey included for the first time questions about the concerns raised by Russia's recent and potential future action.

About half of the respondents were fairly or very concerned about Russia's efforts to influence the functioning of Finnish society, and 29 per cent were fairly or very concerned about Russia potentially taking military action against Finland.

“Russia's recent actions have understandably raised concern among citizens. However, all respondent groups give their strong support to the decisions the Finnish Government has taken concerning the border, and the consequent measures have in turn helped to strengthen their sense of security,” says Juho Jyrkiäinen, Chief Specialist at the Prime Minister's Office.

Trust in the Government and political parties has risen noticeably in the past two rounds of the survey, 50 per cent now saying they trust the Government, while at its lowest the figure was 41 per cent. However, the level of trust is still lower than during the previous Government.

Concern about household incomes at its highest this year

Households' concern about their income has remained relatively high, and it is now at its highest this year, with 39 per cent at least somewhat concerned about their household's income.
Trust in healthcare and in education, both of which have been on a long-term declining trend, continued to drop. The figure for both is now at its lowest since the launch of the Citizens' Pulse surveys in early 2020, with 60 per cent saying they trust healthcare and 73 per cent saying they trust education.

According to the survey, the COVID-19 situation does not raise much concern among citizens, with around three out of four slightly or not at all concerned about it.

This is the 51st round of the Citizens' Pulse survey, which examines citizens’ opinions on current issues and government activities and asks about their mood and expectations for the future. Statistics Finland is responsible for collecting the survey data.

Inquiries: Juho Jyrkiäinen, Chief Specialist, Prime Minister’s Office, tel. +358 295 160 181