52% Ukrainians Want to Join the EU
Deutsche Welle presented the results of an opinion poll among Ukrainians between 18 and 65 years old. More than half of the 1,000 interviewees – 52 percent – want Ukraine to become an EU member. Notably, 35 percent of Ukrainians aged 18-29 support rapid integration (within the next five years).
Nearly 80 percent of the population expressed their interest in visiting the EU, with half of the interviewees stating that they would visit more often, had the visa free regime with the EU been introduced.
According to news.dt.ua, in June of 2012 some 53 percent of the population supported the country’s joining the EU. A year ago the percentage was as high as 74. Debt crisis of the Eurozone and deadlock on the association talks are listed as reasons for the drop in the amount of the supporters of the European integration.
46 percent of Ukrainians regard economic prosperity to be the main objective of the EU. 23 percent named development of common values, democracy and freedom of speech to be the EU top priority.
Notably, the share of Ukrainians who evaluate the EU – Ukraine relations as friendly more than doubled in six months – from 13 percent in June 2012 to 28 percent in December of 2012. At the same time, Ukrainians indicate warming up toward Russia. Now 55 percent regarded the relations with the Eastern European country’s northern neighbor as positive, while only 43 percent did so six months ago.
Interestingly, following the European Football Championship, which Ukraine co-hosted with Poland, it was reported that almost half of foreign guests stated that Ukraine deserved to join the EU. The EU citizens were surveyed by GfK Company as a part of the Soft Power of Ukraine in the EU and Beyond project. Additionally, 52.4 percent of the European football fans supported immediate cancellation of the visa regime between their countries and Ukraine.
According to the GfK survey, nearly 43 percent of the respondents wanted to see Ukraine become a member of the EU in the short term. Almost 31 percent of the interviewees believed that Ukraine could join the EU in the medium term under the condition that political and economic situation in the country improves. Less than three percent of the surveyed EU citizens said they did not want to see Ukraine a part of the 27 nations block.