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EEU or EU? The Opinions of Armenian Youth

Around 60% of the citizens of Armenia consider the political path chosen by the Armenian authorities wrong, testify the results of the survey conducted by Peace Dialogue NGO titled “Balancing Security and Freedom”, which asked “How Armenians assess the Armenian authorities' foreign policy.”

The study was conducted from July-September 2014, between 480 individuals aged 18-25 from Yerevan, Tavush, Lori, Gegharkunik, and Syunik province. Various urban and rural communities participated in the survey; Vanadzor, Ijevan, Gavar, Goris, Achajur, Sarigyugh, Sevkar, Margahovit, Saral, Noratus, Gandzak, and Shinahayr. 

Only 4.2% answered positively to the question “How do you evaluate Armenia’s foreign policy developments?” stating it was moving in the right direction. 26.5% considered the foreign policy to be “right rather than wrong.” 30.4% considered the political path chosen by Armenia wrong, while 28.5% believed it to be “wrong rather than right.”

To the question whether Armenia should join the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) or the European Union (EU), the answers were almost split. 48.3% answered for the EEU, while 42.9% for the EU.

If the preference to these two structures is nearly distributed in half, then the justifications for the responses are significantly different. For those who chose the EU, 43.2% chose the most decisive factor being the safeguards for human rights, while only 9.1% of those who answered EEU justified their choice with the human rights' aspect. 27.6% of those answering positively toward the EEU believed that Armenia would have more long-term opportunities, 25% stated security as an important factor, while 24.1% justified it with Armenia’s geo-political position.

“A significant portion of the grounds for joining the EEU are the concerns of implementing economic sanctions by Russia on Armenia (for example; gas prices, deporting Armenian migrant workers). From this perspective, it is not so much about development, but rather about not aggravating the economic situation of Armenia,” note the authors of the survey.

Survey in its entirety here [Armenian only].