Romanians overwhelmingly support a political and military alliance with the West, a recent survey shows.
The four-part poll, conducted by the Inscop marketing research company, showed 81% of people believe Romania should be part of the European Union and NATO and foster close ties with the U.S.
Most people are hesitant or even hostile toward Russia and think Moscow has had a harmful impact on Romania over the years, the survey showed.
However, about ten percent of people questioned said they believed Romania should opt for closer ties with the East, namely Russia and China. A further 8.6% didn’t answer or said they didn’t know, Agerpres reported.
A total of 61.4% of respondents said they thought Romania’s membership of the EU was beneficial, while 35.2% thought it wasn’t. Romania joined the bloc in 2007 together with Bulgaria.
Questioned in more greater detail about what membership means, about 32% said they think as an EU state, Romania ought to comply with EU rules even when they clash with its national interests.
However, 64.2% said Romania should protect its national interests when they go against EU rules, up to the point and including losing membership of the 27-nation bloc.
Almost 80% said they didn’t think the EU would break up in the immediate future.
Asked about NATO, two-thirds said they believed the Western military alliance would defend Romania in the case of an attack. Some 29.3% said they thought it would be abandoned by the bloc in such a scenario. .
A solid three-quarters agreed that U.S. military bases which are in Romania would help defend the country in the case of a foreign attack. Some 20% disagreed.
An overwhelming 71.3% said they thought the U.S. has a positive influence on Romania, confirming the strong pro-American attitude that Romanians are generally considered to have.
However, there were other options. Some 16.9% said they thought Russia was beneficial for Romania.
But pro-Russians are in the minority in Romania, reflecting cool ties at an official level. Some 61.7% of respondents think that Russia has harmed Romania over the years, with 19.1% saying that it helped.
When it comes to the West, 55.8% think that Western countries had a positive contribution, while 32.1% think the had a harmful influence.
West vs. East
The survey „Public mistrust: West vs. East. The rise of the nationalist trend in the era of disinformation and fake news phenomenon” was carried out by INSCOP Research in partnership with Verifield.
The survey had four parts, with the first part related to attitudes to the EU, Russia and the U.S.
It was conducted at the request of the Strategic Thinking Group think-tank as part of a research project supported by the German Marshal Fund of the United States.
It was funded by the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation through True Story Project. It was carried out between March 1 and March 12. Some 1,100 respondents took part in phone interviews. The survey’s margin of error is 3%.