Survey: NATO and EU membership supporters on the rise in Georgia
A survey conducted in Georgia by the National Democratic Insitute (NDI) has revealed that Georgia’s accession to NATO and the European Union is supported by more people now than in previous years.
Around 75 per cent of those surveyed said they were for Georgia’s accession to NATO, and 81 per cent said they were in favor of European Union membership. Compared to last year, the number of respondents supportive of Georgia’s accession to these organisations has grown by 10 per cent. Euroatlantic integration was last supported to this extent back in 2013.
Besides foreign policy, the survey also touched on a number of other issues in Georgia, including budgetary priorities, democracy and environment.
The majority of respondents said that their views are not reflected by a single political party. Around 18 per cent of those surveyed said they feel they learn towards the ruling Georgian Dream party, while 10 per cent said they felt more closely aligned with Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement, and three per cent with the Labor Party.
In response to the question: “If you had to vote tomorrow, whom would you vote for?”, 74 per cent said they did not know. This is an unprecedented response. Among the respondents who had already decided that they will vote, 20 per cent said they will support Georgian Dream, eight per cent said they’d support the United National Movement and seven per cent said they’d support David Bakradze from the European Georgia party.
According to the survey, more than half of the population knows nothing about pension reforms in the country, which allow citizens to save for retirement.
Georgians consider the state of the environment in the country to be critical and believe that the problems of air pollution, food safety, soil and water pollution are pressing issues for Georgia.
Around 90 per cent of Tbilisi residents support measures such as compulsory vehicle inspection, garbage sorting, regular food inspections, prohibition of using plastic bags and improving public transport.
The majority also believes that the government must preserve and expand parks and green spaces and cancel construction in those areas.
Despite most of the Georgian population believing that environmental issues are a cause for concern, only 15 per cent believe that solutions to these issues should be better financed. Healthcare (61 per cent), education (55 per cent), pensions and social security (47 per cent) were considered the most important.
The survey was conducted from 23 June to 8 July.