The EU, USA or Russia: Who is believed to be able to support Georgia best?
In the 2017 wave of Knowledge of and Attitudes towards the European Union in Georgia survey (EU survey), a question was asked: “Who can currently best support Georgia – the EU, USA or Russia?” A third of the population (35%) answered the EU, while equal shares named the US and Russia (23% and 24%, respectively). According to 8%, none of these three actors can support Georgia, and 9% either responded “Don’t know” or refused to answer the question. Importantly, the distribution of answers did not change compared to earlier waves of the EU survey in 2013 and 2015.
Ethnic Georgians were more likely to report the EU can best support Georgia. Education and age also matter. People with tertiary education and people under the age of 56 said more often that the EU can best support Georgia. Ethnic minorities, on the other hand, named Russia much more often.
Note: For the question, “Which ethnic group do you consider yourself a part of?” original answer options were recoded. Options “Armenian”, “Azerbaijani”, “Abkhaz”, “Ossetian”, “Russian”, and “Other ethnicity” were all combined into the category “Ethnic minorities”. For the question, “Who can currently best support Georgia – the EU, USA or Russia?” original answer option “Other” (1%) was excluded from the analysis.
Almost half (47%) of those who reported trusting the EU also reported that the EU can best support Georgia, while 49% of those who reported distrusting the European Union also said that Russia can best support Georgia.
Note: For the question, “How much do you trust or distrust the EU?” original answer options “Fully trust” and “Trust” were combined into the category “Trust” on the chart above. The original answer options “Fully distrust” and “Distrust” were combined into the category “Distrust”.
Many in Georgia trust the European Union and believe that the EU can best support Georgia. People with tertiary education, ethnic Georgians and those who are younger than 56 years old are more likely to say that the EU can best support Georgia.
To learn more about the population’s attitudes towards the European Union in Georgia, read the following blog posts: Awareness of EU aid and support for EU membership in Georgia and One in six in Georgia think the country is a member of the EU. To explore the data in this blog post further, visit our Online Data Analysis platform.
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[Note: Social Science in the Caucasus is publishing the work of six young researchers who entered CRRC-Georgia’s Junior Fellowship Program (JFP) in February 2015. This is the second blog post in the series. Click here to see the first blog post.]
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But what do people want?