Moroccans lead the region in positive views about the EU, opinion poll finds
More than half of all Moroccans have a positive image of the European Union – the highest proportion in any country of the southern Mediterranean region. Eight out of ten feel their country has good relations with the EU, and 52% of Moroccans who knew that the EU provided financial support to their country believe it was effective, just some of the findings of the latest annual opinion poll in Morocco, 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 Morocco from August-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.
On the vast majority of questions, the poll found that Moroccans were the most positive about the EU out of all seven countries surveyed.
Asked to describe Morocco’s relations with the EU, 80% said they were good, compared to an average of 74% in the Maghreb (65% Mashrek). Seventy-one per cent of those asked felt the EU had a positive influence on the development of Morocco (60% Maghreb average), while 52% of Moroccans who knew that the EU provided financial support to Morocco felt it was effective.
Two-thirds (65%) of Moroccans see the EU as an important partner, with which their country shares sufficient common values to cooperate (63%).
In more general terms, 59% of those asked had a positive image of the EU, compared to the Maghreb average of 55% (45% in the Mashrek). As in other countries of the region, the values most frequently associated with the EU were human rights and equality between men and women, while those least associated with the EU were cited as freedom of religion and the absence of corruption.
Moroccans feel EU support has contributed the most to tourism (44%) and trade (34%) in their country. They are keen for the EU to play an even greater role in the areas of trade (82%), economic development (77%), and migration (76%).
In general, Moroccans think that the European Union’s image in their national media is positive. On television, eighty-three per cent of them believe that the image is very to fairly positive, while only two per cent believe it to be very to fairly negative. Television is followed by radio (62% positive, 21% neutral, 5% negative) and websites (54% positive, 23% neutral, 7% negative).
Moroccans are generally satisfied with their lives (75%, above the regional average of 72%), but are slightly less optimistic for the next 12 months, with only 45% expecting their life in general to be better (against 21% worse) and 38% expecting a better economic situation in the country (against 29% worse expecting it to be worse).
The EU Neighbours South regional overview report and factsheets are available here.
To find out more about EU – Morocco cooperation and partnership, go here.