The next few posts (ie. the posts above) will be about the results of the Neighborhood Barometer (NB) survey (2012-2014), which is a an unprecedented survey: the first research on what people living in the eastern and southern neighborhood think about the EU.
Its principal aim is ‘to generate an analysis tool for EuropeAid and the EU delegations in the neighboring territories about the population knowledge and perception of the EU, ENP and its co-operation programs.’ According to the official communications it has two objectives: (i) to measure public opinion towards the EU policy in neighboring countries; (ii) to monitor the media coverage in each country of the EU Neighborhood area related to the EU and EU co-operation/policy. Since Spring 2012 five waves of opinion polls were conducted (two in each year, one in 2014) in the Eastern and Southern Neighborhood. Details on data collection (date of survey, polling institute, sample size) can be found in the reports called ‘analytical reports’ at its website.
Before looking at the results (only in Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Palestine) in the following posts, the meaning of the numbers (ie. opinions) should be put into a proper perspective. According to the findings citizens of the ENPI South countries are poorly aware of the EU activities, development and humanitarian assistance included. As authors of the first NB report noted ‘the availability and the quality of the EU-related information appear to be insufficient for ENPI South citizens,’ especially in Egypt and Jordan. Which is even more remarkable that the proportion of those disagreeing with the first statement in the Masreq has significantly increased since June 2012:
The most satisfied with the magnitude of information on the EU is the Palestinian and Israeli population which is partly due to the size of the countries and populations and mostly to the relative ‘density’ of information available to them. The Jordanians and the Egyptians are much less knowledgeable on the EU’s role in general.
It must be also kept in mind that – contrary to the labels (Spring/Printempts, Autumn/Automne) – the surveys were carried out during the Summer months (between May-August depending on the year and country) and early Winter (between November and January, mostly in December).
NB (2012a, 2012b): EU Neighborhood Barometer. South, Wave 1-2, Spring and Autumn 2012 (Brussels: TNS Opinion); NB (2013a, 2013b): EU Neighborhood Barometer. South, Wave 3-4, Spring and Autumn 2013 (Brussels: TNS Opinion); NB (2014): Barometre du voisinage de L’UE. Sud de la Méditerranée. Printemps 2014. South, Wave 5, Spring 2014 (Brussels TNS Opinion). All of them can be accessed at: http://euneighbourhood.eu