The National Democratic Institute released today the results of a public opinion survey in Georgia regarding the country’s major issues when it comes to security and foreign policy.
The results reflect data collected from the April 7-28, 2017 through face-to-face interviews with a nationwide, representative sample of Georgia’s adult population, excluding the occupied territories. 2,493 interviews were completed. The average margin of error is +/- 2.7 percent. NDI’s survey work is funded by UK Department for International Development (UK aid).
According to the poll, 63% of the pollees think that the biggest danger for Georgia is Russia. 6% listed Turkey and 5% listed the U.S. To the question which country could ensure Georgia’s security the most, 35% said the U.S., 12% said Georgia itself, and 10% said Russia.
80% of the pollees positively assessed Georgia’s potential membership in the European Union. Out of those, 59% think that EU membership will be good for Georgia’s economy and 36% think that it will ensure security.
12% were against Georgia becoming a member of the EU; the majority of those think that it will raise the conflict with Russia (43%), and part of them think it will be a danger to national identity (24%).
51% of the pollees think that the visa free regime to Schengen will be profitable for the Georgian population, however this indicator has lowered compared to the June 2016 poll (64%). Moreover, 67% think that a lot of citizens will migrate to EU Member States. 26% think that the visa free regime will result in the loss of Georgian mentality (values and traditions).
51% think that there is a democracy in Georgia, whereas 40% think there is not and 8% doesn’t know. 15% of the pollees think that there is a democracy in Russia, 51% think there is not, and 34% doesn’t know the answer. 21% of pollees in the 18-35 age group think that there is democracy in Russia.
78% of the pollees think that Russia is a danger for its neighbouring countries. 21% think it doesn’t present much danger and 11% don’t see danger at all.
Regarding the Georgian government, 42% of the pollees think that its relations with Russia had a negative impact on Georgian politics in general, 10% think there was a positive impact, and 35% think that nothing has changed. 48% of the pollees think that the collapse of USSR was a positive event, 42% think it was bad, and 10% don’t know.
47% think that Russian propaganda still exists in Georgia, whereas 27% does not and 26% doesn’t know.
On foreign policy in general, 65% are in favour of being part of the EU, whereas 21% is for being part of the Eurasian Union, and 7% for neither. The most people in favour of the EU are in Tbilisi and large urban areas, whereas those the least in favour of the EU are in rural areas.
As for NATO, 68% are in favour of membership, whereas 21% is not. This indicator has risen, as in January 2017 61% of pollees were in favour of NATO membership.