According to the public opinion survey by the Ministry of Defence, the opinion of the Estonian people towards life has improved, our country is protected, and national defence is well organized.
The results of the Public Opinion and National Defence Survey, carried out this fall, have revealed that in the opinion of 2/3 of respondents life has changed for the better or remains the same. There is a perception that the security situation in Estonia is more positive than in the world as a whole, and Estonians consider the most important security guarantee to be NATO and the defensive will of the people.
‘As Minister of Defence, I commend the high defensive will of the people and readiness to defend their country,' said Minister of Defence Jüri Luik. ‘I am also pleased to see that there is trust in the organisation of national defence and towards the activities of our allies and NATO,' added Luik.
According to the survey, more than half of the respondents consider the biggest threats in the near future to be an organised attack on Estonia's national information systems, i.e. a cyber-attack (67%), the proliferation of fake news (65%), and interference by a foreign country in Estonia’s politics or influencing the economy for its own benefit (58%).
The Estonian people consider membership in NATO, the defensive will of the people, and the development of Estonia's independent defensive capability to be the most important security guarantees.
More than 3/4 of residents support Estonia’s membership in NATO, with support having risen by 5% in comparison with the same type of survey carried out during the spring. The Estonian people believe that in the event of the eruption of a military conflict NATO would provide military aid to Estonia or that membership in the Alliance would prevent a military conflict entirely. A total of 72% of the population support the presence of NATO forces in Estonia.
In the event of an attack on Estonia, approximately 80% of respondents believe that armed resistance is important, and 60% are ready to participate in defence related activity in the event of a military attack.
The completion of conscript service for young men is supported by 92% of residents, with 78% supporting voluntary conscript service for women.
The Estonian people continue to provide a highly favourable assessment regarding the development of independent defensive capability. A total of 80% of respondents wish to continue the current reserve army based national defence model. The Defence Forces and the Defence League are trusted by 3/4 of the residents of Estonia. In the opinion of 70% of residents, Estonia has done a good job in developing its national defence.
‘Conscript service and the reserve army are the cornerstones of Estonia’s national defence, something that is perceived clearly by the population of Estonia, given the results of the survey. It is important that we continue to value conscripts and reservists in the future,’ added Minister of Defence Luik.
The Public Opinion and National Defence Survey was ordered by the Ministry of Defence and carried out by Turu-uuringute AS, with Juhan Kivirähk in charge of the survey.
The Ministry of Defence has ordered regular public opinion surveys since 2001, with the surveys being carried out twice a year.
Fall 2018 survey: http://www.kaitseministeerium.ee/sites/default/files/elfinder/article_fi... (PDF)
Further information: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee