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Public Opinion on the European Union

According to a public opinion survey by EMOR (Estonian Market Opinion Research), the support of Estonian voting-age citizens for their country’s membership in the EU was 82% in December 2008. After Estonia’s accession to the EU on 1 May 2004, the support trend was relatively stable, staying between 60 and 71% for almost two years. The support rate started to rise slowly in 2006, with a more pronounced upward leap, from 74 to 85%, in the first half of 2007.

According to a survey conducted by EMOR in December 2008, 82% of Estonian voters surveyed supported Estonia’s membership in the EU, which is two per cent less than in September. The share of opponents to EU membership increased from 13 to 15%, while the share of undecided people was 4%.

Source: EMOR

In May 2004, immediately after Estonia’s accession to the EU, the support rate was 6%, while 36% of residents opposed membership in the EU. After that, the share of EU supporters stayed between 62 and 72%, with a slow rising trend. After the support rate dropped to 60 per cent in December 2005 as a result, according to EMOR analysts, of the prolonged EU budget debates, it started to rise again.

According to the December 2008 survey, the strongest supporters of the EU are people up to 35 years of age (84%). The support of those aged 35 to 50 years is 77% and of people aged over 51 83%. Compared to the September 2008 survey results, the support of voters under 35 and over 51 years old decreased by 2% and 6% respectively, while the support of voters from 35 to 50 years remained on the same level. A positive sign is that there are no significant differences between the opinions of younger and older generations.

The opinion of Estonian and non-Estonian voters differed in December by 5%. The support of ethnic Estonians for Estonia’s membership in the EU was 82% and 13% of Estonians were opposed to membership in the EU (in September 84% of Estonians supported and 12% were opposed to EU membership). The support of non-Estonians for EU membership was 77%, which is 7% less than in September. At the same time, the opposition rate among non-Estonians was 20% (16% in September). In general, the opinions of Estonians have been more stable over the past year while the support rate among non-Estonians has fluctuated more.

Among different income groups, the people with the highest incomes per household member are the most supportive of EU membership. In the median-income group, 81% of respondents favoured the EU, while among people with the highest incomes the support rate was 92%. The support rate of people with lower than median incomes was 74%. The share of ‘cannot say’ answers is highest for the lowest-income group, at 7%. In the median-income group, three per cent of respondents did not have an opinion, while among people with higher incomes the share of ‘cannot say’ answers was 2%.

Source: EMOR

More information about Estonia in the European Union:

The Representation of the European Commission in Estonia
Coordination of European affairs in Estonia

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Last updated: 1 October 2009

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