Tallinn – According to a survey by TNS EMOR, in October 78% of Estonian citizens supported Estonia’s membership in the European Union. The high rate of support has remained stable, between 67–70%, since the beginning of the year. Support rose to 74% in September..
Previous surveys have shown that the positive attitude towards the European Union is related to people’s economic success. According to EMOR Division Manager Aivar Voog, the reasons for the rising support are largely economic: the positive media coverage of economic growth, the success of Estonian enterprises, the quick rise of wages, increased purchasing power and the resulting strengthening confidence. The fears related to the European Union have decreased.
In October, EMOR also studied the attitudes of the population towards EU enlargement. 50% of the population are in favour of enlargement, mainly because as newcomers we have no moral right to prevent others. Support is strongest, at 59%, among younger Estonians, under the age of 35.
Only one-third of Estonia’s residents have heard that the European Commission has recommended Bulgaria and Romania for enlargement. Nearly half of residents do not believe the accession of these countries will influence Estonia to any significant degree. One-third of respondents pointed out a negative effect, such as the influx of foreign workers or a reduction in the amount of EU financing for Estonia. One-fifth believes that the new member states will make a positive impact, as the EU’s internal market will expand and provide new possibilities for economic growth.
TNS Emor conducted an omnibus survey by telephone, from 3–5 October and 17–19 October 2006, among 1001 residents of Estonia aged 15–74. Out of these, 749 were Estonian citizens of voting age. The survey was commissioned by the State Chancellery.
The full survey is available at : http://www.riigikantselei.ee/?id=372