According to a survey conducted by the Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE), nearly 60% of respondents in the Republic of Moldova support the country’s accession to the European Union, while another 31.5% are not in favor of this option. The survey, titled “Perceptions of Citizens Regarding the European Integration Process of the Republic of Moldova,” sheds light on the public sentiment regarding EU membership.
When asked about a hypothetical referendum on EU accession, 55.4% of respondents said they would vote in favor, while 30.6% would vote against it. Approximately 4.7% of respondents stated that they would not participate, while nearly 9% were undecided or did not respond. These figures highlight the importance of considering the participation rate in future referendums, as previous national referendums in the Republic of Moldova have not seen high levels of voter turnout.
In terms of the country’s preparedness for EU accession, the survey revealed that the majority of respondents expressed doubts. Approximately 33.7% believed that the Republic of Moldova is “not prepared at all,” while another 29.8% felt that it is not adequately prepared. About 18.3% responded with “neither prepared nor unprepared,” 12.2% considered the country to be fairly prepared, and only 2.1% believed it is very prepared for EU membership.
When asked about the potential benefits of EU accession, respondents provided varied responses. However, the most common expectations were related to reduced corruption, peace, security, freedom to study/work anywhere in the EU, and economic stability/prosperity. Additionally, respondents believed that EU membership would lead to improvements in healthcare services, justice, law and order, investment opportunities, and education.
The survey is part of the research project “ThinkTanks4EUMembership: Enhancing the Role of Think Tanks in Supporting the National Effort of European Integration of the Republic of Moldova.” It is supported by the Open Society Foundations (OSF). The research, which includes both quantitative and qualitative analyses, will be repeated annually to track changes in public perceptions.
The survey was conducted by CBS-AXA from June 13 to 28, 2023, with a sample size of 1,120 respondents and a maximum margin of error of 3%. Vasile Cantarji, a sociologist, noted that this survey represents the first comprehensive study dedicated exclusively to the topic of European integration.
The IPRE’s executive director, Iulian Groza, emphasized the importance of evaluating citizens’ perceptions of European integration to assist civil society, authorities, and development partners in strategic communication, synthesizing public opinion, and informing citizens about the European integration process.
As Moldova continues its path towards European integration, public sentiment and expectations will play a crucial role in shaping the country’s future trajectory.