Azerbaijan: poll casts light on attitudes to the EU and how people see their lives

Azerbaijan: poll casts light on attitudes to the EU and how people see their lives

Almost half of Azerbaijanis feel that relations between their country and the European Union are good, compared to just 15% of those who think they are bad. This is one of the key findings of the recently released Autumn 2013 EU Neighbourhood Barometer for Azerbaijan, conducted in the framework of an EU-funded opinion polling project for the Neighbourhood.

The survey, based on 1,051 interviews conducted in May 2014, finds that 42% of people asked feel the EU is an important partner, with 46% believing the EU and Azerbaijan share sufficient common values to be able to cooperate, lower than the average across the Eastern Partnership countries, 58% and 56% respectively.

Forty-eight per cent of respondents felt the EU had good relations with their country (down from 56% in a similar poll conducted six months earlier, and compared to 53% in the ENPI East region). Almost two-thirds of those polled (63%) saw the EU in a positive (35%) or neutral (28%) light, compared to 13% for whom it conjured up a negative image.

The poll has revealed a relatively low level of trust Azerbaijani have in international institutions. The EU tops the list (trusted by 36%), followed by the UN (27%) and the NATO (25%).

The majority of those questioned (66%) were generally optimistic about their lives, with the degree of satisfaction rising the younger and more educated respondents were.

More than half of respondents (53%) felt their country was going in the right direction (compared to just 19% in the region), with 66% saying the economic situation was good, and 54% expecting it to get better in the next twelve months.

The majority of respondents were satisfied with the way democracy works in Azerbaijan (56%, compared to 29% on average in other Eastern Partnership countries, but down from 65% in Azerbaijan at the end of last year).

Forty-five per cent of those asked agreed enough information was available about the EU, while 36% considered that it was easy to understand.

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