Two thirds of Armenians feel the European Union has good relations with their country. This is one of the key findings of the recently released Autumn 2013 EU Neighbourhood Barometer for Armenia, conducted in the framework of an EU-funded opinion polling project for the Neighbourhood, the EU Neighborhood Info Center reports.
The survey, based on 1000 interviews conducted in December 2013-January 2014, finds, however, that the number of respondents that see the relations of their country with the EU as good has dropped by 12 percentage points since Spring 2013.
More than half of Armenians (55%) feel that cooperation with the EU is instrumental to upholding peace and security in the region, compared to 44% across the Eastern Partnership (EaP) region in general. Tackling poverty is viewed as yet another key area of EU-Armenia cooperation by 53% of those polled, while supporting human rights is deemed important by 43% of respondents.
A relative majority in Armenia has a positive image of the EU (44% against 19% of those who describe the EU image as negative), but with a large decrease since spring 2013. Neutral opinions have largely increased (+25%). More than half of those asked (54%) said they trust the EU, which is slightly less than the level of their trust in the UN (56%) but considerably more than that in NATO (37%).
Armenians questioned in the poll were generally optimistic about their lives, with 64% satisfied with the life they lead, with the degree of satisfaction rising the younger and more educated respondents were. Though 86% of respondents said the economic situation was bad, a relative majority (41%) felt Armenia was going in the right direction.
The overwhelming majority of those asked (72% against 64% in the EaP region) were not satisfied with the way democracy worked in Armenia.
The EU Neighbourhood Barometer project, funded under the DG Development and Cooperation (EuropeAid) Regional Communication Programme, conducts opinion polls and monitors the media in the 16 partner countries and territories participating in the European Neighbourhood Policy, plus Russia.