Ten years after the country’s EU accession, the Romanians’ confidence in the European Union, at 52 pct, continues to be considerably above the European average of 36 pct, head of the European Commission’s Representation in Romania Angela Cristea told a conference for the presentation of the results of the standard autumn Eurobarometer survey.
At the time of accession, the Romanians’ trust in the EU stood at 65 pct.
At the same time, the Romanians maintain a higher than average optimistic vision (67 pct vs 50 pct) on Europe’s future, despite it having decreased from the 75 pct registered at accession date (as to 69 pct the European average).
In the same period, confidence in national institutions varied less and followed a trend contrary to that in the EU overall (of growing national confidence and declining confidence at European level); in Romania this indicator further stays below the European average. Thus, confidence in the national Parliament increased from 19 pct to 22 pct in Romania, while trust in national governments advanced from 19 pct to 29 pct.
According to the survey, support for the priorities of the European Union remains high among Romanians, at values between 55 pct as regards the Economic and Monetary Union and 77 pct for the free movement of persons, specifically the right to live, work or study in any member state. Also, two-thirds of Romanian citizens say they feel European, and three fifths of the respondents said the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy regarding employment in the 20-64 years age bracket and reducing school dropout to 10 pct are realistic.
Two out of three Romanians consider that the voice of the EU counts at global level and declare themselves in favor of a common foreign policy. In the Romanians’ opinion, the values that best represent the European Union are human rights (38 pct), democracy (32 pct) and peace (27 pct). Not in the last place, the Romanians hold geography to be the best connecting element that confers a sense of community to the European citizens (23 pct), followed by values, the rule of law and solidarity with poorer regions (18 pct), health care, education and pensions (17 pct).