Georgia: 77% support accession to EU, 74% – to NATO
The National Democratic Institute has completed another public opinion survey in Georgia. Along with other issues, questions on Georgia’s potential membership in NATO and the EU were also touched on.
The EU and NATO
According to the NDI, the idea of Georgia joining the European Union was acceptable for 77 percent of respondents and unacceptable for 13 percent.
66 percent of supporters of EU membership explained their position by saying accession would help the Georgian economy. 41 percent said this will strengthen the security of the country, and 17 percent hope to increase the number of jobs.
39 percent of the total number of opponents of joining the EU explain that they fear a new conflict with Russia, and 31 percent say that “it is more profitable to have closer relations with Russia.”
According to the study, if Georgia held a referendum tomorrow, then 68 percent of the population would vote to join the European Union.
74 percent of those interviewed were for Georgia joining NATO. 15 percent of respondents oppose this.
53 percent of supporters of integration into the North Atlantic Alliance justify their opinion with concern for the security of Georgia. In addition, 37 per cent hope that joining NATO will have a beneficial effect on the country’s economy, and 27 per cent believe that membership in the alliance will increase the chances of restoring Georgia’s territorial integrity.
Opponents of joining NATO explain their position again with the fears of a new conflict with Russia – 51 per cent of those surveyed. Another 12 per cent of opponents of NATO membership believe that this step will lead to additional territorial losses.
According to a similar poll conducted in January 2019, 72 per cent of the population was in favor of joining the EU, and 64 per cent – NATO.
Visa free travel and migration
According to data obtained by the NDI, 90 percent of the population has not used visa-free travel with the EU, which began to operate in 2017. Five percent of respondents said they used it once and only three percent repeatedly.
In response to the question – have you or members of your family lived abroad for longer than three months, 73 percent of the respondents answered negatively, 25 percent said they had. Curiously, one per cent answered they ‘did not know.’
Of the 25 per cent who lived abroad at least three months, 33 per cent lived in a European countries, 31 per cent – in Russia, 20 percent – in Turkey, 15 percent – in other states of the former USSR, three percent – in the USA, one per cent – in the Middle East, one percent – in Asia, nine percent said ‘elsewhere.’
According to the results of the NDI survey, 50 per cent of respondents believe that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a good event for Georgia, 39 per cent hold the opposite opinion, and 11 per cent were undecided.
For comparison, the same figures for the survey conducted in March 2018 looked, respectively, as follows: 43 per cent, 42 per cent and 14 per cent. And in April 2017: 48 per cent, 42 per cent and 10 per cent.
The National Democratic Institute conducted the study throughout Georgia, except for the occupied territories.
The work was conducted from March 28 to April 15. A total of 2,927 people were interviewed. The margin of error is +/- 2.3 percent.