Most Georgians Continue to Support EU Membership 

Most Georgians Continue to Support EU Membership 

Most Georgians Continue to Support EU Membership 

The FINANCIAL -- 61 percent of Georgians support the country’s goal to join the European Union (EU), according to poll results released in October by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and CRRC Georgia.

At the same time, some citizens are considering alternatives such as the Eurasian Union, which earned 31 percent support. Those Georgians approving Eurasian Union membership primarily cite perceived economic benefits (71 percent), not political or governance improvements, while 68 percent of European Union supporters say the same about joining the EU. In comparison, only 7 percent of Eurasian Union supporters think that Eurasian Union membership would strengthen democratic development. 21 percent of EU supporters believe that EU membership would strengthen democratic development.

While the majority of Georgians supports joining the EU, when reflecting on benefits and offered a choice between European and Euro-Atlantic (EU and NATO) integration and abandoning this direction in favor of better relations with Russia, 45 percent of citizens said Georgia would benefit more from European and Euro- Atlantic integration, while 30 percent would abandon these aspirations for better ties with Russia. Again, citizens give an economic, not political, rationale for closer relations with Russia, and only 6 percent of Georgians believe that Russia should have political influence on Georgia.

The poll also found that 14 percent of all citizens identified Georgian Dream as the party closest to them, and 13 percent identified United National Movement (UNM). Irakli Alasania-Free Democrats and the Alliance of Patriots both have 4 percent support, although the Irakli Alasania-Free Democrats is the most popular second choice, with 6 percent.

Responding to the question - if parliamentary elections were held tomorrow, would you say you are decided or undecided - 59 percent of citizens said they are undecided, including 41 percent of likely voters. Of likely voters, 15 percent would vote for the United National Movement (UNM) and 14 percent would vote for Georgian Dream Coalition.

The poll also revealed that most Georgians still do not have a preferred political party. Responding to the question - if parliamentary elections were held tomorrow, who would you vote for - 35% said don’t know, 14% - no party and 13% refused to answer.