Most Armenians want greater EU role, poll finds
Armenians overwhelmingly feel that the European Union is an important partner of their country, and would like it to play an even greater role in their country, across a range of areas. This is one of the key findings of the recently released Autumn 2012 EU Neighbourhood Barometer for Armenia, conducted in the framework of an EU-funded opinion polling project for the Neighbourhood.
The survey, based on 1,003 interviews conducted in November-December 2012, finds that 86% of Armenians feel the EU is an important partner, with 73% believing the EU and Armenia share sufficient common values to be able to cooperate – much higher than the average for the ENPI East region.
Almost all those asked (85%) wanted a greater EU role in economic development, 87% in trade, 84% in human rights, 74% in democracy, and 78% in regional cooperation – consistently more than the average across the region.
The poll found that 63% of Armenians trusted the EU – slightly less than they trusted the UN (68%), but more than NATO (48%), and more than they trust their own government (52%), Parliament (38%) or political parties (37%).
Eighty-one per cent of respondents felt the EU had good relations with Armenia, against just 13% who felt they were bad.
Armenians questioned in the poll were generally optimistic about their lives – more so than other countries in the region – with 67% satisfied with the life they lead, and the degree of satisfaction rising the younger and more educated respondents were.
However, respondents were less optimistic regarding the direction in which the country was going: just 23% of those asked felt Armenia was going in the right direction, against 61% who thought it was heading the wrong way. Another 72% thought the economic situation was bad, and 31% thought it would get worse in the coming year. Only 38% of those asked were satisfied with the way democracy works in Armenia.
A strong 68% of those asked agreed enough information was available about the EU, while 60% agreed it was easy to understand.
Factsheets summarising the findings of the EU Neighbourhood Barometers were published to coincide with the release last month of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) package of 2012 progress reports of countries covered by the ENP.
The EU Neighbourhood Barometer (opinion polling and media monitoring) is part of the EU-funded Regional Communication Programme, and aims at assessing knowledge and perception of the EU Neighbourhood Policy and its cooperation activities and programmes.
EU Neighbourhood Barometer – Autumn 2012 Armenia factsheet
The impact of energy statistics in policy making was the focus of an international conference on the Strategic Role of Energy Statistics in National and International Policies, held on 23-24 April in Copenhagen.
The conference, organised by the INOGATE Technical Secretariat (ITS) with the support of Statistics Denmark, brought together 50 high-level officials from both the EU and the INOGATE partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan). Participants included representatives from the National Statistics Institutes, Ministries and Members of Parliament responsible for policy and decision making in the energy sector as well as media.
The European Commission recognises the importance of energy statistics in the socio-economic development of countries, underlined Eurostat representative, Roeland Mertens, adding: “The EU-funded INOGATE Programme is the first large-scale regional cooperation programme promoting practical skills and know-how to Partner Countries to develop energy statistics according to international standards.”
Conference presentations and key note speakers highlighted the role of statistics in developing national energy strategies, improving the of investment climate, facilitating trade and thus boosting security of energy supply.
For the next two years, INOGATE will focus on:
- increasing the capacity of National Statistical Institutes (NSIs) and other statistical bodies to collect, process, store and disseminate reliable and consistent energy statistics and balances;
- harmonising standards and methodologies for energy statistics and balances in line with European and international standards;
- increasing the use of statistics in energy policy and decision making in the region.
In implementing its activities, the ITS is cooperating closely with Eurostat, the International Energy Agency (IEA), and the Energy Community Secretariat (ECS) in an effort to avoid duplication while building complementary and sustainable results. (EU Neighbourhood Info Centre)