Wednesday, 1 August 2012
EU Citizens: Ukraine Deserves To Join The EU
KIEV, Ukraine -- Almost half of the European guests, who visited Ukraine during EURO 2012 football championship, stated that Ukraine deserved to enter the EU in the near future. EU citizens were surveyed by GfK Company as a part of the Soft Power of Ukraine in the EU and Beyond project, commissioned by the Institute of World Policy, USA. The survey results revealed that in general the EU citizens supported Ukraine's European aspirations and thought that Ukraine deserved various components of European integration such as the visa-free regime, reads the study. 52.4 percent of European fans would like to cancel the visa regime between their countries and Ukraine already today, while 4.8 percent did not support the visa-free initiative. According to the survey, 42.56 percent of respondents wanted to see Ukraine become a member of the 27 nations block within the short term, while 30.92 percent believed that Ukraine could join the EU in the medium term under the condition that the political and economic situation in the country improves. Notably, only 2.77 percent of surveyed EU citizens said they did not want to see Ukraine a part of the union. At the same time, 84 percent of Ukraine's guests were happy with the championship taking place in the country. 76.4 percent expressed the desire to visit Ukraine again as tourists. More than a half (57.25 percent) of the Europeans reported that the organization of the major sports event had improved their perception of Ukraine. More than half of the surveyed EU citizens stated that upon visiting Ukraine they sympathize with the country. 37.5 percent of respondents expressed respect for Ukraine, while about one third of the respondents displayed eagerness to support the Eastern European country. Interestingly, 84.64 percent of all the 1,408 surveyed respondents have never been to Ukraine before the championship. The Institute of World Policy launched the EURO Exit Poll through UNITER program on June 11, 2012. In the run of the campaign, football fans from different European countries shared their impressions of Ukraine in the contexts of politics and foreign policy. Europeans staying in Kiev, Kharkiv, Lviv, and Donetsk for the championship (June 8 - July 1, 2012) were questioned at the exits of the stadiums in the Ukrainian host cities.