24 Sep 2019 18:39

Moldova split almost equally between supporters of integration with EU, EAEU - poll

CHISINAU. Sept 24 (Interfax) - The Moldovan public is virtually equally divided into those supporting their country's integration with the European Union (EU) and with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), as seen from a public opinion poll conducted by the Association of Sociologists and Demographers of Moldova (ASDM).

If a referendum on the course of Moldova's integration was held next Sunday, 40.8% of the respondents said they would vote for joining the EAEU, 39.5% the EU, 8.5% would not support any such integration, 4.3% would not vote, and 6.9% refused to respond, the ASDM said.

In the view of 52.1% of the respondents, Moldovan-EU relations have improved significantly following the February 24 parliamentary elections, while 21.5% believe they have just improved, 18.2% believe relations remained the same, 4.5% say they have worsened, and 1.3% say they have worsened significantly.

Asked the same question about Moldova's relations with Russia, 25.2% said they have improved significantly and another 41.5% say they have just improved, while 21.6% said relations have remained the same, 6.4% believe they have worsened, and 2.1% believe they have worsened significantly.

If a referendum on Moldova's accession to NATO was held next Sunday, 46% would vote against the idea, 23.1% would support it, 13.2% said they would not vote, 4.3% know nothing about NATO, and 13.6% refused to answer.

The poll also showed that about 60% of Moldovan citizens believe the country is moving in the wrong direction, while 24.3% hold the opposite view.

Sociologist Andrei Dumbraveanu said in commenting on these figures that they are the most optimistic over the past several years, as the share of those believing that the situation in Moldova is developing in the wrong direction previously reached 70%-72%.

Only 6.5% of those polled are very happy about the way democracy functions in the country, 18.6% are satisfied with it, 40.9% are not quite satisfied, and 25.3% are absolutely dissatisfied with it.

The respondents were also asked to positively or negatively assess changes in various fields within the state's purview that have occurred in the past three months. As many as 45.8% approved of changes in Moldova's foreign policy, 41.9% approve of changes in the electoral system, 37% support changes in the activities of local government bodies, 36% in the healthcare system, and 35.2% in the education sector.

As many as 62.2% see changes in domestic policy negatively, while slightly more, 64.3% of the population, hold the same view about economic changes, 65% feel the same about changes to the pension system, 69.4% expressed a negative option about changes in the central administration's performance, and almost three-quarters of Moldovans (74.7%) see changes in the justice system negatively.

The poll of 1,189 respondents was held at the ASDM's initiative on September 11-20, 2019.