Public Attitudes Have Changed Dramatically Towards the Eurasian Economic Union Membership
01.09.2016
12:00
According to the results of "North or West Views? Public opinion Research”, public attitudes and opinions regarding the membership to the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) have completely changed.

Arthur Sakunts, Head of HCA Vanadzor Office and sociologist, expert Ruben Sargsyan presented it during the press conference at Media Center.

A study conducted by the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly presented the comparative figures of the survey conducted in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

“The aim of the study is that we follow and see the change in public moods towards the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union (EU),” Sakunts said.

The survey was conducted in all the regions of Armenia and in Yerevan. The format and the duration of the survey was the same during three years.

“In response to the question whether Armenia should join the EU or EAEU, the majority of respondents answered the EU in 2016. The situation has changed, if previously supporters of EAEU dominated then now it dramatically reduced. The highest number, 41 percent gave preference to European structures, 25 percent of the respondents preferred EAEU. While in 2014 EU's supporters made up 25% of the respondents, in 2015 24% and in 2016 the percentage increased. The supporters of the Eurasian Economic Union were 38 percent in 2014 and 36 percent in 2015, so we have a tendency to decrease," Sargsyan said.

He added that an apparent reduction was observed among those wishing to join both organisations. According to the expert, in all the regions there was an increase of the numbers supporting EU membership, and decrease of the numbers supporting the Eurasian Economic Union.

"Among both the male and the females preference grew towards EU and fell towards the Eurasian Economic Union. In earlier studies, mostly males supported the Eurasian Economic Union, while females - the EU," he added.

Artur Sakunts stressed that there are no regional peculiarities and in general that change of opinions and orientations is commensurate.

"This is not typical of the place of residence or region, this is a general trend. It is obvious that the arguments presented to the public for EAEU membership, in fact, have not been implemented, were not provided, and the public's attitude speaks of the fact that the expectations were not satisfied with the Eurasian Economic Union's membership," Sakunts said.

He points out that there is a break here and a serious discrepancy between official policy and public moods, and according to him, the political elite must take into account this change in public mood.

"The reasons for changes in attitudes are simple. Economic expectations are not met, energetic expectations are not satisfied, the security-related factors and expectations are not satisfied. No promises, or arguments presented during these 3 years, have not been implemented and the public presents its clear objective attitude," Sakunts added.

Lilit Arakelyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email to lilitarakelyan@pjc.am.

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