The International Political and Security Situation has Increased Support for the Euro and European Union

18.12.2014 | 15:52

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According to a fresh survey, the population's support for the European Union and the use of the euro in Estonia has risen to 84 and 78 percent, respectively, and the share of definite supporters has risen. This change in attitudes is largely a result of the international political and security situation.

According to the survey conducted by pollsters Faktum and Ariko in November, 84 percent of the population of Estonia supported being part of the European Union. Compared to a similar study conducted a year ago, support has increased by 4 percentage points. The growth is significantly above average in the oldest age group, the lowest income group and people living in rural areas. To date, support has only reached the same levels in 2007. Support for the European common currency has increased by 14 percentage points during the year, reaching a historic height.

When looking at the change in support for the European Union, the structure of the support is significant. The share of definite supporters has risen in all age groups across gender, age, education and ethnicity. Among the Russian-speaking and non-citizen or foreign citizen population, the share of definite supporters has risen, although the general support level has remained the same. According to Kalev Petti, Faktum and Ariko's Head of Research, the growth in the share of definite supporters is verification that the respondents see Estonia as being more and more as separate from Russia.

As in the 2013 survey, respondents find that the two most important areas that should be supported from the EU budget are education & research and agriculture & regional development. Security has risen to third place, being considered most important by 38 percent of the respondents this year compared to 21 percent in 2013. The pollsters say this is an indicator that expectations regarding security have clearly increased, which speaks of the changed international situation and probably explains the growth in support for the European Union.

At European level, the most important tasks continue to be the creation of infrastructure connecting Estonia to the rest of Europe, such as Rail Baltica and energy links with the Nordic countries (42%) and securing the stability of the euro (40%). The share of both of these tasks has decreased slightly, while the number of supporters of the integration of Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and other countries with Europe has grown from 11% to 24%.

Faktum and Ariko conducted the poll commissioned by the Government Office from 20-27 November. Five hundred inhabitants aged from 15 to 74 years were asked questions over the phone.