BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, May 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The findings of the 2 EU Neighbourhood Barometer waves conducted in 2013, released today, show that the European Union generally conjures up a very or fairly positive image to four out ten citizens from 16 partner countries and territories1 in the European Neighbourhood area (41 % for the Eastern partnership countries and 39 % for the Southern partner countries).
The image of the EU has improved since the first EU Neighbourhood barometer (spring 2012) with +3 in for the Eastern partnership countries but the image of the EU among its Southern neighbours is contrasted. Though increasingly benefitting from a positive image in Maghreb2 (62%, +12), views are now less positive in Mashrek3 (42%, -5) and in Egypt (12%, -14).
Citizens are also positive about the relations the European Union (EU) has with their country. This opinion is equally strong both areas: in the Southern Neighbourhood about half (49%) of those surveyed describe these relations as good, the same answer is given by 47% of the citizens in the Eastern Neighbourhood. This positive perception was already widespread among citizens from both geographical areas since Spring 2012.
Looking deeper in South region, the situation is still contrasted: Maghreb 74%, Mashrek 58% and Egypt 17%.
When asked about the most important areas of cooperation between their country and the EU, trade as well as peace and security are considered the most important areas of cooperation with the EU in the South as well and among Eastern neighbours as well.
The same areas of cooperation were mentioned as most important also in the previous waves.
Citizens in the South generally remain more satisfied with the life they lead (Maghreb 67%, Mashrek 58%) which contrasts with those in the East (44%), and Egypt 25%. The biggest changes in level of satisfaction compare to first 2013 wave have been measured in Morocco (+12%) and Jordan (-26%)
Citizens from the Southern neighbourhod are also more positive than their Eastern partnership counterparts when judging of the economic situation in their country.
46% qualify it as being either very or rather good in Maghreb, 32% in Mashrek vs. 18% in the East.
1 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya.
Please note that results for Russia are not taken into consideration when calculating the East averages.
2 Maghreb: Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya.
3 Mashrek: Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine
Focusing on the state of their national economy and how it may evolve in the next months reveals wide disparities of opinion among citizens in Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood.
The same survey reveals however that many people do not feel they are well informed about the EU initiatives in their countries. This underlines the need to better inform citizens in partner countries about the European Neighbourhood policy, its objectives and instruments and its achievements and the EU initiatives in the Neighbourhood area in general.
The EU Neighbourhood Barometer is a three-year EU funded project, commissioned by the European Commission, DG Development and Cooperation, EuropeAid. The project does opinion polls and monitors the media in the 16 partner countries and territories participating in the European Neighbourhood policy, plus Russia, through bi-annual standard barometers (Spring and Autumn) and one special barometer per year.
The biannual surveys aim at gauging the population knowledge and perception of the EU, the EU Neighbourhood Policy and cooperation activities and programmes in the 16 countries and territories neighbouring the European Union.
31200 citizens in total4 took part in the two waves of 2013 EU Neighbourhood Barometer.
For more information
All the findings and key reports from the polls outlining EU Neighbours’ perceptions of the current economic situation, EU and its cooperation policy, their trust in institutions, and preoccupations for the future are available through a dedicated online portal at: