Note: A show card with 18 answer options was used for the question “What do you think are the three most important issues facing Georgia at the moment?” and up to three answers were accepted per interview. Only the most frequently mentioned answer options are presented in the chart above.
While territorial integrity was named by the majority of the population as the most important issue facing Georgia in late 2008 and 2009, in the aftermath of the 2008 war with Russia, the focus has since shifted to economic issues and, first of all, unemployment. Similar changes took place in the population’s priorities regarding support from the EU. This blog post discusses this change using data from the four waves of Europe Foundation’s Knowledge and attitudes towards the EU in Georgia survey conducted by CRRC-Georgia in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015.
In parallel to the decline in perceived relative importance of territorial integrity between 2009 and 2015, there has been a clear rise in perceived importance of economic issues. While territorial integrity and lack of jobs were named as the most important issues in 2009 (both named by 53% of the population), lack of jobs and poverty are now in the fore.
The same trend appears when it comes to the topics in relation to the EU which Georgians are interested in getting more information about. In 2009, 29% reported wanting more information about trade relations between Georgia and the EU, while 41% did so in 2015. In 2009, 52% reported wanting more information about the EU’s role in conflict resolution, while 35% did so in 2015.
Note: A show card with 11 answer options was used for this question, and up to three answers were accepted per interview. Only the most frequently named answers are presented in the chart above.
Investment in Georgia’s economy is now the most frequently mentioned kind of support Georgia’s population wants from the EU, while previously it was help with the restoration of territorial integrity.
While immediately after the 2008 war with Russia, territorial integrity was named as the most important issue in Georgia, today economic issues are named by the majority of the population. Corresponding changes took place in respect to the areas Georgians want support from the EU on.
To find out more, visit CRRC’s online data analysis platform.