Citizens of the Eastern Partnership countries are more satisfied with their lives, but pessimistic about the economy; they also have a more positive image of the EU, and would like it to play a greater role in security and defense.
These are some of the key findings of the sixth wave (Autumn 2014) of the EU Neighborhood Barometer just released.
The proportion of satisfied respondents increased from 43% in spring 2014 to 46% in autumn, but nearly four in five judge the economic situation in their countries as bad (79%). Almost two-thirds continue to be dissatisfied with the way democracy works.
Respondents name peace and security (66%) as by far the most important area of cooperation. The areas in which respondents are most likely to call for greater EU involvement continue to be trade (76%), economic development (74%) and human rights (64%). Security and defense have gained ground in the last six months – now 64%, +14 percentage points.
For the first time in the history of the barometer, the absolute majority of respondents agrees enough information on the EU is available (52%), with 50% saying it is easy to understand.
The EU Neighborhood Barometer project, funded under the EU’s Regional Communication Programme, conducts opinion polls and monitors the media in the 16 partner countries and territories participating in the European Neighborhood Policy, plus Russia.