Two-thirds of Palestinians say they have good relations with EU, poll finds
Two-thirds of Palestinians feel their country has good relations with the European Union, and as many say EU support contributes a lot to development in the country, with 87% saying EU financial support is effective. These are just some of the findings of the latest annual opinion poll in Palestine, published by the EU Neighbours South project.
The survey – part of a wave of opinion polls carried out in seven southern Mediterranean partner countries – was conducted in the Palestinian territories from April-May 2017, with 1,031 people consulted in face-to-face interviews. Respondents were asked about their general perceptions of the EU and the values with which it is associated, about EU relations with their country, and the impact of EU financial support. The surveys also look at preferred sources of information, how people feel about their personal situation and the situation in their country, and their expectations for the future.
In general, Palestinians were slightly more positive in their perceptions of the EU than the regional average of the four Mashrek countries (Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Israel), but less so than in the three Maghreb countries (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia).
Asked to describe relations with the EU, 67% said they were good, compared to an average of 64% in the Mashrek (76% in the Maghreb). Sixty-seven per cent of those asked felt the EU had a positive influence on socio-economic development in their country (compared to a regional average of 58%), and 87% said EU financial support was effective.
Most Palestinians (53%) also felt the EU was an important partner, and 57% said the EU and Palestinians shared sufficient common values to cooperate. Fifty-six per cent of Palestinians felt the European Union brought peace and stability in the region (compared to just 25% of Israelis who felt the same).
In more general terms, 47% of Palestinians had a positive image of the EU, compared to the Mashrek average of 44% (Maghreb 62%), while 30% had a neutral image and just 16% a negative image. The values most frequently associated with the EU were economic prosperity, and the rule of law and transparency; the value least associated with the EU was honesty.
Palestinians feel EU support has contributed the most in the areas of development of infrastructure (40%), economic development, and education (both 30%), and are keen for the EU to play an even greater role in economic development, as well as in the area of human rights.
Television – both public and private – remains the main source of information for news among Palestinians (cited by 56% and 46% of respondents respectively), followed by social media (45%), public radio (42%), the Internet (37%), and private radio (31%). Almost one in four still read the printed press.
Palestinians are generally satisfied with their lives (59%, compared to an average of 65% for the Mashrek, and 79% for the Maghreb). But they are worried about the economic situation in their country (68% feel it is bad, compared to 61% in the region), and most (57%) are afraid that it will get worse in the next 12 months. Just over a third (34%) also think their life in general will get worse (29% think it will get better), while 35% think the financial situation of their household will get worse.
The EU Neighbours South regional overview report and factsheets are available here.
To find out more about EU – Palestine cooperation and partnership, go here.