Lebanese feel their country has good relations with the EU, new poll finds
Most Lebanese feel their country has good relations with the European Union, and that the EU has a positive influence on the development of Lebanon, with 74% of those who knew that the EU provided financial support to Lebanon saying it was effective – just some of the findings of the latest annual opinion poll in Lebanon, 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 Lebanon in August to October 2018, with 1,000 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, Lebanese perceptions of the EU were above the regional average of the four Mashrek countries.
Asked to describe relations with the EU, 68% said they were good, just above the average of 65% in the Mashrek (74% in the Maghreb). Sixty-one per cent of those asked felt the EU had a positive influence on the development of Lebanon, and 74% of those who knew that the EU provided financial support to Lebanon said it was effective.
Sixty-two per cent of respondents saw the EU as an important partner for Lebanon, with sufficient common values to cooperate (59%).
In more general terms, more than half (57%) of those asked had a positive image of the EU, compared to the Mashrek average of 45% (Maghreb 55%), while 21% had a neutral image and 19% a negative image. The values most frequently associated with the EU were equality between men and women, human rights, and democracy; those least associated with the EU were absence of corruption, tolerance and the rule of law.
Lebanese feel EU support has contributed the most in the areas of education (30%) and economic development (28%), and are keen for the EU to play an even greater role in trade and economic development.
In general, Lebanese think that the European Union’s image in their national media is positive. On television, sixty-six per cent of them believe that the image is very to fairly positive, while only nine per cent believe it to be very to fairly negative. Television is followed by websites (54% positive, 26% neutral, 11% negative) and radio (49% positive, 25% neutral, 14% negative).
Most Lebanese are satisfied with their lives (53%, compared to an average of 68% for the Mashrek, and 72% for the Maghreb). But they are very worried about the economic situation in their country (86% feel it is bad, compared to 61% in the region), and 66% are afraid that it will get worse in the next 12 months (only 9% think it will get better). Thirty-six per cent also think their life in general will get worse (14% think it will get better, and 45% think it will be more or less the same).
The EU Neighbours South regional overview report and factsheets are available here.
To find out more about EU – Lebanon cooperation and partnership, go here.