Sélecteur de langues
Brussels, 10 October 2006
EU citizens tend to have a positive perception of relations with neighbouring countries (68%) and to believe that cooperation with these countries will bring mutual benefits. EU citizens consider cooperation with neighbouring countries important: in fighting organised crime (90%) and terrorism (90%), in economic development (88%), energy matters (87%), environment (87%), democracy (87%), education and training (83%), research and innovation (78%) and immigration (77%).
On the highly topical issue of migration, nearly two thirds of respondents (64%) believe that close cooperation with neighbouring countries will reduce illegal immigration into the EU.
The vast majority consider that EU assistance to neighbouring countries can help to extend peace (70%) and democracy (77%) beyond the borders of the Union. There are, however, concerns (45%) that their own country’s peace and stability could be endangered by promoting reforms in neighbouring countries.
A majority of those questioned felt that economic cooperation with the neighbours would increase mutual prosperity (61%) and open new markets for both parties (75% for the EU and 64% for neighbouring countries). This is in spite of the fact that many (81%) had concerns about the potential financial costs of supporting reforms in Europe’s neighbourhood.
Most respondents (52%) feel that countries are willing to cooperate to reform, though a majority (64%) also feels that the EU should reduce its relations with a country if it shows no willingness to make progress on reforms.
The summary and full report of this opinion poll is available at http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/eb_special_en.htm.
For more information on the European Neighbourhood Policy see: http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/.