EU retains high trust levels across the Eastern partner countries, opinion polls find
Citizens across the Eastern Partnership region have a broadly positive image of the European Union, improving in most of them, with the EU seen as the most trusted international organisation across all six countries of the region. Citizens in all countries bar Belarus overwhelmingly feel that their country has good relations with the EU. These are just some of the results of the 2023 annual survey of opinion in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine – carried out by EU NEIGHBOURS EAST, the EU’s largest regional communication programme.
The surveys were conducted in February 2023, with face-to-face interviews in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Moldova. In Ukraine, computer-assisted telephone interviews were carried out, while in Belarus an online panel survey was used.
Sixty per cent of Armenians trust the European Union, more than any other international institution and 17 points up on two years ago, while almost three-quarters of those asked (74%) think relations between the EU and Armenia are good. This year’s survey also found that 69% of Armenians were aware of the EU’s financial support to their country (compared to 62% in 2016). A very large majority (82%) was aware that the EU has a Delegation in Armenia.
Most Azerbaijani citizens (61%) have a positive image of the European Union, 13 points up on last year’s 48% and by far the highest number since the surveys began in 2016, when only 27% of those asked had a positive image of the EU. More people than ever also felt their country had good relations with the EU – 80% this year compared to 71% when the surveys began in 2016.
Twice as many Belarusians have a positive image of the European Union (33%) as those who see the EU in a negative light (16%). The 2023 survey also found that just over half (51%) of Belarusian citizens know very or rather well what the EU is all about, and that 80% of those who have heard about the EU are interested in knowing more, especially about its relations with Belarus (49%).
An overwhelming majority of Georgians (84%) feel their country has good relations with the European Union, nine points more than in 2016, when the surveys began. Awareness of the EU’s financial support for Georgia has also risen dramatically, standing at 82% this year compared to just 60% in 2016. The EU continues to be the most trusted international institution among Georgians (78%).
Republic of Moldova
Moldovans have an increasingly good image of the European Union (62%), pointing to good relations between their country and the EU (78%), and trusting the EU more than at any time in the last eight years (63%), according to the 2023 annual survey. The citizens of Moldova are very aware of the EU’s financial support to their country (81%), and more than half feel this support is effective.
Ninety-six per cent of Ukrainians say their country has good relations with the European Union, up 31 points since 2021. The latest poll also found that 95% of citizens know that the EU has been providing Ukraine with support since the beginning of the war, with most of them (85%) considering it as effective. Almost three-quarters (72%) of Ukrainians have a positive image of the EU, the highest recorded percentage since the surveys began in 2016, when only 49% had a positive image.