Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine last year, most Swiss now say they want closer ties with NATO – but not membership, a study reveals.
In all, 55% of people who took part in the surveyExternal link, which was published on Thursday by Swiss federal technology institute ETH Zurich’s Military Academy and Centre for Security Studies, said they wanted a rapprochement between Switzerland and NATO. This is 10% higher than in January 2021.
Furthermore, 53% believe that Swiss neutrality should allow the Alpine nation to plan its military defence together with NATO. However, only one-third of those surveyed support the idea of Switzerland joining the military alliance of countries from Europe and North America.
There is staunch support for the Swiss army. In all, 78% say it is necessary while 76% say it should be “fully equipped”. Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, 14% of those surveyed said the army invests “too little”.
Meanwhile, attitudes towards neutrality appear to be shifting slightly. Support for neutrality in general is down by 6 percentage points to 91%. Most respondents (57%) still believe Switzerland should assume a differentiated policy of neutrality, namely, that it should take a political stand on certain issues but remain militarily neutral.
A clear majority (75%) also believe that Swiss sanctions against Russia are compatible with neutrality. The poll was carried out in January 2023, by phone among 1,238 Swiss citizens from the three main language regions.