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Poll: Less than half of Ukrainians support EU membership

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Dec. 15, 2011, 7:53 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
Forty percent of Ukrainians want the country to enter into the European Union, according to an opinion poll held in December 2011 by the Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Ukrainian Sociology Service. Some 32.9% of the respondents said Ukraine should not do that, and 21.1% found it difficult to answer the question.

The majority of supporters of Ukraine's EU membership live in Western Ukraine (74.2%), as well as in central and northern areas (49.7%). Thirty-six percent support the European future of Ukraine in the southern and southeastern areas, and the indicator is 26.4% in Donbass and the Crimea.

The opinion of people ages 18-29 does not vary from one region to another. Fifty-one percent of the young support EU entry in Donbass and the Crimea, where the general attitude is negative.

Sixty-one percent know that Ukraine is holding negotiations on the Association Agreement with the European Union, and 39% do not know that. Fifty-two percent of the aware persons support Ukrainian membership in the EU, and 37% support this in the unknowledgeable group.

Some 34.7% say that free traveling will be a benefit of Ukraine's full membership in the EU, 28% hope for higher living standards, and 24.3% expect broader access to education at European universities.

As for negative consequences, 31.1% name possible emigration from the country, 22.5% say that it may deteriorate Ukrainian relations with the CIS and 22% expect the possible problem of labor migration and the selling out of national resources and property.

Concerning impediments to Ukraine's membership in the EU, 33.3% say it would be the insufficient level of economic development, 32.4% the low living standards in Ukraine, 22.6% - problems with democracy and human rights, 18.7% - the position of EU members unwilling to admit Ukraine to the organization, and 13.6% - the position of the Ukrainian leaders who do not actually want the EU membership.

The researchers polled about 2,000 respondents older than 18.

According to an earlier poll held by the Razumkov Center, the majority of Ukrainian citizens feel positive about the entry into the EU.

Forty-five percent support this possibility, and 34.2% have the opposite opinion. A total of 20.7% abstained from answering the question.
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