IRES Survey: Half of Romanians Feel Worse Off Than 10 Years Ago

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​A survey published on Thursday by IRES, a day before the start of the electoral campaign, shows that the number of Romanians who believe that the country is heading in the wrong direction has decreased compared to the autumn of last year. However, half of the respondents believe that they currently live worse than they did a decade ago.

An indicator with a positive trend was the number of people who believe that Romania is heading in the wrong direction. If in October 2023 the percentage reached 76%, at the beginning of April it dropped to 67%.

Pessimists are more present among active people (36-65 years old), among people with low education and who live in rural areas or in Moldova. Optimists tend to be young people and people with higher education.

On the other hand, half of the participants in the survey estimate that they live worse now than 10 years ago. Only 3 out of 10 Romanians say they live better than a decade ago, and one out of five say they live the same.

In higher proportions than the average, young respondents, people with higher education and those who live in Transylvania say that they live better than 10 years ago. People between 50 and 65 live worse than 10 years ago, as well as those with low education or those from Moldova.

Regarding the future, 4 out of 10 Romanians think they will live worse five years from now, 2 out of 10 think they will live the same and only a third think they will live better.

Half of the families in Romania have someone working in the EU

According to the study, in the last 10 years, more than half of Romanians have traveled to a European Union country and more than half have someone in their family working in a European country. One in five Romanians has worked, in the last 10 years, in an EU country, and one in 10 Romanians has someone in the family studying in Europe. However, Romanians’ interest in European policies is not widely believed, given that in a month, on June 9, the European Parliament elections will take place. 1 out of 5 Romanians say they are not interested in this topic at all, 43% say they are a little interested, while only a third declare themselves interested in this topic.

Less expected to vote in the EP elections than in the local ones

The survey shows that 60% of the participants in the study declare that they will certainly vote in the European Parliament, compared to 69% who declare that they will certainly go to express their vote for the local elections.

Almost 1 in 10 Romanians (9%) does not know that European parliamentary and local elections take place on June 9.

On EU and Schengen
Romania’s entry into the European Union is associated positively by Romanians, with over half of the participants in the study claiming that our country had more to gain with the integration.

Those who claim that our country had more to lose are people aged between 51 and 65, those with low education, along with those who live in rural areas and in Moldova. In fact, 54% of the participants in the survey believe that Romania’s interests were negotiated well and very well, before the reception of our country in the EU, a quarter think that the negotiation was done quite badly, and 17% that it went very badly. Almost three quarters (73%) of the survey participants believe that our country must remain in the EU in the coming years. 24% are of the opinion that Romania should leave the EU.
As for Schengen, more than 80% of the participants in the IRES survey believe that it is good for Romania to be in Schengen and with land borders, but only 45% believe that this possibility actually exists, while the rest believe the opposite.

Opinions about war
More than 50% of Romanians see the future of the European Union rather optimistically, while 44% anticipate it pessimistically. War is seen as the main threat to the European Union in the next five years by 40% of Romanians. This is followed, at a great distance, by terrorism (11%), the widespread use of artificial intelligence (9%), the exit of some states from the EU (9%), immigration (8%), but also disinformation and fake news (7%).
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