OREANDA-NEWS. The study ‘Awareness and attitude of the population regarding the issues of the European Union’, ordered by the Government Office of Estonia and conducted by Rait Faktum & Ariko OÜ, claims that 79% of Estonian residents support Estonia belonging to the European Union. The support has increased by 2% in a year. 

“The moderate increase in supporting the EU might be thanks to the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, as it was successful and media feedback has been mainly positive,” said Kalev Petti, head of research at Rait Faktum & Ariko. A total of 52% of the respondents said that they are informed of the activities related to the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. People aged 60-74 and people with higher education deemed themselves informed of the Presidency more often than the average (61% and 60%, respectively, said they were well or rather well informed). Furthermore, 61% of the population considers the Estonian Presidency successful while 15% deem it unsuccessful. A quarter of the respondents did not have an opinion on the subject.

When asked which area Estonia most focused on during its Presidency, most people named the development of the digital area (56% of the population). “I am glad that people show a lot of support for the European Union and care about the issues Europe faces. Awareness of Estonia’s activities and goals has also improved thanks to the Estonian Presidency, which gives us hope that people feel that their opinions matter,” said Klen Jäärats, Director for EU Affairs of the Estonian Government Office, about the results of the survey.

Since Estonia switched to the euro in 2011, support for using the euro has increased. This year, 81% of the population supported using the euro. 15% of the population does not support using the euro. These proportions have not changed over the year. A further 57% (56% in January 2017) of Estonian residents deem Estonia’s activities in the European Union successful while 27% consider them unsuccessful.

The assessments of Estonia’s activities differ depending on the age, nationality, citizenship, and income of the respondents. More often than the average, people aged 15-29 (65%) or 60-74 (64%), Estonians (65%), and people with higher incomes (800 euros or more per family member per month) (65%) deem Estonia’s activities in the European Union successful. Solving the root causes of the migration crisis was considered an essential course of action for Estonia at the EU level – 42% of the population named this as one of the two most important activities.

Another 37% of the population said that implementing the use of digital signatures all across Europe was another of the two most important activities. Deeming the use of digital signatures important has grown exponentially, especially among young people (53% of young people considered it important). At the beginning of the year, only 11% of respondents considered the implementation of digital signatures all across Europe important. The survey within this stage of the study was conducted from November to December of 2017.