Georgians ‘strongly support’ European integration, NDI survey reveals

On monthly basis there was 0.3% deflation in May. Photo by Nino Alavidze/, 25 Aug 2014 - 15:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgians ‘strongly support’ European integration and are looking for improvements in the local economy in the post-Municipal Election period, according to results of a public opinion poll released by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) today.

The NDI report titled "Public Attitudes in Georgia” looked at issues of public importance, perceptions of democracy and attitudes toward reforms, as well as various domestic and foreign policy issues.

Foreign Relations

The public opinion survey showed that nearly 60 percent of Georgians believed the country should join the European Union (EU) rather than the Eurasian Customs Union and the majority (78 percent) were highly supportive of the Georgian Government’s stated goal to join the EU.

A significant number of Georgians (79 percent) were aware Georgia had signed an Association Agreement with the EU on June 27. Sixty-nine percent of respondents approved of this move, eight percent disapproved and 22 percent had no opinion.

Of the more than 3,000 people surveyed, 42 percent believed Russia was "a real and existing threat to Georgia” while 36 percent said Russia was a threat but it was exaggerated. Meanwhile 15 percent said Russia was no threat to Georgia at all.

National issues

Employment and the economy continued to be among the most pressing issues, with 63 percent citing jobs and 32 percent citing poverty as Georgia’s main issues.

Meanwhile, a large number of surveyed people (69 percent) believed the state of employment had not changed in Georgia since October 2012 when the Government changed following the Parliamentary Elections.

Regarding democracy and reforms, 36 percent of those surveyed said Georgia was democratic already but there was still room for improvement.


Seventy-four percent believed the June 15 Local Government Elections in Georgia were conducted well.

Sixty-three percent of Georgians disapproved of a senior religious figure that called on citizens to vote for or against a specific party. In addition, 44 percent approved of the Central Election Commission’s (CEC) request that the bishop in question clarify his remarks.

Ultimately, 73 percent believed the Church should not engage in election campaigning.

"Georgians’ support for EU membership and Euro-Atlantic integration remains strong. In relation to domestic issues, while the local government elections were viewed as being well conducted, progress on improving the economy is seen as slow,” NDI Interim Country Director Kristina Wilfore said.

"Georgians have consistently said that jobs and poverty are the most important national issues facing the country. Government representatives who use this information will find support among Georgian citizens.”

The survey of 3,338 Georgian citizens, took place from July 23 through to August 7 2014. Information was gathered in face-to-face interviews and results have an average margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent.

Today, NDI Interim Country Director also said Luis Navarro, NDI senior resident country director in Georgia left his role and went back to the US. "He will continue his successful strategy in the USA," Wilfore said. Reportedly, Navarro's term as NDI's senior country representative in Georgia has ended today.