A new public opinion poll, commissioned by the Slovak Atlantic Commission (SAC) in cooperation with the Central European Policy Institute (CEPI), suggests that the European Union (EU) remains attractive for Moldovans – but is not a default option yet. The poll results, when compared with findings of a similar survey from 2009, further reveal a number of alarming trends in the attitudes of the Moldovans to the EU, and their perceptions of Moldova-EU and Moldova-Russia relations under the prism of value orientations.
The fear of uncertainty and negative anticipations of change currently prevail in public perceptions of the EU, causing a loss of trust, and reciprocity in EU-Moldova relations. The Eurasian Customs Union (ECU), on the contrary, tends to be seen as a model which may potentially offer a quick-fix solution for stability, prosperity and security.
As a result, the public opinion is explicitly divided between the two regional power centres: asked to choose between support for the EU or the ECU, a slight majority of the Moldovans (44%) preferred the EU over the ECU (40%). To reverse the decline of the pro-EU stance of the Moldovans, a continuous and positive reinforcement of the EU model and vision is needed.
Under the auspices of the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Chisinau, SAC and CEPI in partnership with the Independent Journalism Centre (IJC) organized the “What Do Moldovans Think” panel discussion to present and debate the survey findings, in order to contribute to a realistic and intense pro-European engagement with the Moldovan public.