Swiss population more worried and cynical about the future, survey says
A new survey has revealed that people in the alpine nation are more cynical and critical of the future than they were at the start of the year. In addition, while a majority agrees Swiss neutrality is a good thing, support for the policy has dropped for the first time in 20 years.
More Swiss people pessimistic about the future in 2022
The Security 2022 survey - commissioned by ETH in Zurich, the Military Academy and the Centre for Security Studies - analyses what Swiss people think of the future and global affairs. Usually taking place every year, the study hopes to identify changes in attitudes among Swiss citizens and residents.
In this unique half-year survey, sparked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 22 percent of people surveyed said they were pessimistic about the future of Switzerland, an increase of 9 percent compared to the start of 2022. The study blamed this switch in part on the war in Ukraine, with one in three respondents reporting they were more anxious after the Russian invasion.
First decline in support for neutrality in Switzerland in 20 years
In global affairs, 76 percent of Swiss people surveyed said they were worried about the evolving political situation abroad, with more than half of respondents assuming that there will be more armed conflicts in Europe in the future. The increased threat from abroad has also convinced more people that the Swiss army should be rearmed and “fully equipped” for the country’s defence.
This perceived threat of conflict has coincided with a decline in support for neutrality. Despite holding a strong majority, only 89 percent were in favour of the idea, a drop of 8 percent compared to seven months ago and the first registered decline in support for neutrality in 20 years.
In general, neutrality was viewed more sceptically than usual, with only 58 percent of respondents thinking the policy made Switzerland immune to invasion. A new majority now supports increased cooperation with NATO, although few people desire to fully join the organisation.