Armenia started the process of Eurasian integration in 2013. Taking into consideration the absence of reliable studies, that would reveal people’s awareness of EEU and consequences of Armenia’s membership in it, Union of Informed Citizens did a study aimed at contributing to filling the gap and exploring not only people’s attitude towards EEU, but also its relationship with people’s awareness about details and consequences of EEU membership. The predefined survey questions were asked through telephone calls made to the residents of Yerevan, Gyumri, Vanadzor and Kapan cities. One thousand (1000) people participated in the study.
The study was also aimed at finding out people’s factual knowledge and expectations regarding change of prices for various products and services as a result of joining EEU, as well as their perception of Armenia’s current trade relations with Russia and Europe and the economic situation in Russia. Another key aim of the study was to compare respondents’ attitude towards EEU membership with their actual knowledge of EEU membership details.
The survey results showed that more than half (61,2% – yes, 28,8 – no) of the respondents are aware of what Eurasian Economic Union is.
A very slight difference was observed between the percentage of respondents who favor Armenia’s membership in EEU and those who do not (42% – no, 37,6% – yes, 20,4% – don’t know). Interestingly, female the number of female respondents, who were against Armenia’s membership in EEU was higher, than the number of male respondents. Moreover, the respondents younger than 40 were less prone to favor Armenia’s membership in EEU than those, who were older.
As the results suggest, more than half of the respondents don’t expect decrease of prices for gas and petrol as a result of Armenia’s membership in EEU. Regarding survey participants’ perceptions of expected decrease of prices of Russian products, almost half of the respondents reported that they don’t have such expectations. The results also suggest that almost half of the respondents expect rise in prices for food, equipment, clothes and furniture imported from other countries.
Regarding the amount of Armenia’s trade with Europe vs. Russia, the study revealed very interesting trends. Almost half of the respondents claimed that Armenia’s main trade partner is Russia, when in fact only the 22% of Armenia’s external trade is with Russia. 52,1% of EEU proponents believe that Armenia’s main trade partner is Russia, while 19,1% knows, that it is Europe. Moreover, 29,5% of EEU opponents knows, that the main trade partner of Armenia is Europe.
Only 31% of respondents, who have correct information about Armenia’s external trade partners, are favoring Armenia’s membership in EEU (53,4 percent answered no). While, on the contrary, 44,1 percent of those, who have wrong information, were in favor of joining EEU (only 36% was aggainst).
The analysis of attitudes towards Armenia’s membership in EEU among respondents who mainly gave wrong answers to the survey questions and those who mainly answered the questions correctly also reveals an interesting trend. On average, half of the questions were answered correctly.
Almost half of the respondents who gave predominantly wrong answers to the survey questions favor Armenia’s membership in EEU (46,4% – yes, 33% – no). Conversely, almost half of the respondents who gave predominantly correct answers to the survey questions are against Armenia’s membership in EEU (33,1% – yes, 46,4% – no).
Thus, the results suggest that there seems to be a relationship between respondents’ attitudes towards Armenia’s membership in EEU and their perceptions about possible decrease of prices for oil and gas, Russian products, and their perception of the amount of Armenia’s trade with Russia vs. Europe.
We can also observe that there is still a considerable portion of the population who haven’t formed an opinion and don’t have clearly defined expectations from EEU and consequences of Armenia’s membership in it.
The results also suggest that the more informed people are about EEU membership and its consequences, the more they reported to be against it. The fact that there was a considerable number of respondents who are aware of EEU membership details and still favor joining it can be explained by different factors.
The study also revealed that the majority of respondents did not have elementary knowledge on the details of this integration and its consequences, while others have wrong information.
You can find the research here.
“Union of Informed Citizens” NGO