Romania has a growing proportion of citizens skeptical of the European Union (EU), but 58% of the population believes the country will develop better economically in the future if it remains a member of the European community, according to a survey by Inscop’s Romanian Polling Institute.
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Results released on Tuesday show a significant drop since spring in the percentage of those who believe Romania would benefit most from EU membership. In September, 47 percent of those surveyed thought so, while 56.2 percent agreed in June, while in March 61.4 percent agreed. At the same time, the share of those who say Romania is more deprived of EU membership rose from 35 percent in the spring to 46 percent.
68.5 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement that Romania must protect its national interests when they run counter to EU rules. In the spring, 64 percent shared that view.
At the same time, 59% of the population believes that Romania’s exit from the European Union goes against the country’s national interests. Here, too, a decrease of 4.5 percentage points compared to the March results can be observed. In addition, nearly 58 percent of Romanians say the country would develop better economically if it stayed in the EU.
According to the survey authors, the accumulation of epidemiological and domestic political crises in Romania, the lack of visibility and the growing prevalence of skeptical views of the EU have led to a marked decrease in public optimism about the benefits of EU membership. It was noted that the proportion of those who thought EU membership was more beneficial and those who thought it mostly harmful to Romania were fairly evenly distributed.
They added that while a large part of the population, about 60 percent, remains “rational” and believes that Romania is developing better economically in the EU, the increase in the proportion of EU skeptics should be a warning sign for politicians, businessmen and the scientific field.
The survey was conducted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States from September 15 to 27, with a survey of 1,204 individuals, in partnership with the Romanian-Latvian American Partnership to Support Black Sea NGOs and Media Projects in Black Sea Regional Cooperation Maritime Trust Fund for Cooperation regional).