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Knowledge and Attitudes towards the EU in Georgia, 2009-2017

On October 10, 2017, 13:00-15:00 Europe Foundation (EPF) will be presenting its recent survey report entitled Knowledge and Attitudes towards the EU in Georgia, 2009 – 2017. The presentation will be held at Tbilisi Marriott Hotel, the Ballroom, (Address: 13 Shota Rustaveli Ave., Tbilisi).

The report presents the results of a study into the Georgian citizens’ knowledge of and attitudes towards the European Union.  It looks at the results of the five waves of surveys conducted in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017, attempting to identify trends and to highlight changes in both knowledge and attitudes of the population of Georgia.  Ms. Ketevan Vashakidze, President of Europe Foundation will present the major findings of the survey and respond to questions from the audience.  Mr. Carlo Natale, the Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to Georgia, Ms. Martina Quick, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden in Georgia, Mr. Johannes Douma, the Ambassador of the Kingdom if the Netherlands to Georgia, will provide their opinions regarding the findings of the survey.

The following are some of the findings that EPF would like to highlight:

  • Georgian citizens associate the EU with democracy. A vast majority of citizens agree that the EU is a source for peace and security in Europe and that it is a democratic union that promotes democracy in countries outside the EU.
  • The citizens are now better aware of the EU, than they were in 2009. However, the population’s knowledge of a number of issues is still limited; for example, Georgians require more information about the EU institutions, agreements reached between Georgia and the EU, and the interventions implemented in Georgia with support from the European Union.
  • As expected, there are disparities between the levels of knowledge between the country’s rural and urban populations, with the widest gap observed between the knowledge reported by the residents of Tbilisi and ethnic minorities residing outside Tbilisi.
  • The majority of Georgian citizens believe that they do not receive sufficient information about the EU, with almost half of the respondents noting that they would like to receive more information about the EU.
  • The majority of the Georgian population believes that, compared with the United States and Russia, the EU can better assist Georgia. However, a large segment of ethnic minorities disagrees with this view.
  • The majority also believes that Georgia needs the EU’s assistance. However, the population believes that the EU support primarily benefits Georgian politicians and officials and questions the purposefulness of EU assistance.
  • Georgian population’s direct support for the EU integration that decreased to 62% in 2015, has increased to 71%. This proves again that the overall attitude towards the EU is highly positive and Georgians strongly support the country’s European integration.
  • Current state of country’s market economy is named most commonly as the factor impeding Georgia’s accession to the EU, followed by the rule of law, the approximation of Georgian legislation to EU legislation, the protection of human rights, the development of democratic institutions and the protection of minority rights.
  • A large majority of the Georgian population is somewhat informed about visa liberalization. However, only 16% are confident that they will enjoy the visa-free regime within the next 12 months.
  • The share of Georgian speakers and ethnic minorities who think that the government should be like a parent rather than an employee hired by the citizens, remains unchanged since 2009.

The survey was commissioned by Europe Foundation and conducted by CRRC Georgia with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Georgia, and the Danish International Development Agency (Danida).

The report can be accessed here.

The complete data-set can be accessed here.

Contact Person: Lela Berdzuli, Program Associate, Europe Foundation. E-mail: lberdzuli@epfound.ge, Tel.: 225-39-42/43.       

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