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European Union to Eurasian Economic Union – 47%:32.5%

In an eventual referendum in which voters would have to choose between the Republic of Moldova’s accession to the European Union and the country’s entry into the Eurasian Economic Union, 47% would vote for the first, while 32.5% for the second. 16% of the respondents of the poll haven’t decided or didn’t know how to answer, while 4.5% said that they would not take part in such a plebiscite, shows the Public Opinion Barometer 2023, which was conducted by the polling company CBS-AXA and presented by the Institute for Public Policy (IPP).

In a news conference hosted by IPN, IPP executive director Arcadie Barbăroșie said that if the previous responses to this question are analyzed, it can be seen that 56% is the highest percentage of those in favor of the EU. This highest level was achieved in June 2021. In time this indicator declined to 48%, to 47%. As to the choice for the Eurasian Economic Union, which was earlier made by about 31.7%, this figure now rose slightly to 32.5%.

“This is a question about which the politicians should ponder over, but we should also think how to convince the citizens that the integration into the European Union is the most important path for the Republic of Moldova. This path should be decided and voted in a referendum,” said Arcadie Barbăroșie.

Political pundit Igor Boțan, a jury member, noted that the rise among those who are for the entry into the Eurasian Economic Union is curious as this Union actually does not exist. “If we look attentively at this space, we see that it is affected by wars, internal conflict, international isolation at least in the case of two states that form part of the Eurasian Economic Union. I think the effect here is rather due to polarization – you are either with ours or with theirs – and this phenomenon should be taken into account,” stated the expert.

According to him, the context should also be analyzed as it is the one that shapes the position of the respondent and the responses to a lot of questions drive from this position somehow by induction. “The responses seem to be amazing. However, if we take the context into account, we realize that the behavior of citizens is not so undecided, undetermined. There is also one more very important thing, related to the citizens’ attitude to freedoms and other things, to private property. I think this kind of responses should be studied by the authorities, the economists. At first sight, it seems to be a contradiction, but my opinion is that the people perceive things in a particular way, starting from the own interests, not from objective things,” stated Igor Boțan.

Sociologist Vasile Cantarji, CBS-AXA vice director, said the poll was carried out during August 9-23 and covered a representative sample of 1,215 persons aged 18 and over from the Republic of Moldova. The margin of sampling error is at most +3%.

The research was conducted with financial support from Soros Foundation Moldova.

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