Most Lebanese feel their country has good relations with the European Union, and that the EU has a positive influence on the development of Lebanon (78%), with 84% of those who knew that the EU provided financial support to Lebanon saying it was effective – just some of the findings of the latest annual opinion poll in Lebanon, 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 Lebanon in July 2019, 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.
In general, Lebanese perceptions of the EU were above the regional average of the four Mashrek countries.
Asked to describe relations with the EU, 80% said they were good, above the average of 67% in the Mashrek (63% in the Maghreb).
71% of respondents saw the EU as an important partner for Lebanon, with sufficient common values to cooperate (69%).
In more general terms, more than half (66%) of those asked had a positive image of the EU, compared to the Mashrek average of 50% (Maghreb 46%), while 20% had a neutral image and 10% a negative image. The values most frequently associated with the EU were human rights, individual freedom and equality between men and women; those least associated with the EU were honesty and religious freedom.
Lebanese feel EU support has contributed the most in the areas of economic development (33%) and infrastructure development (31%), and are keen for the EU to play an even greater role in economic development and human rights.
In general, Lebanese think that the European Union’s image in their national media is positive. On television, seventy-four per cent of them believe that the image is very to fairly positive, while only five per cent believe it to be very to fairly negative. Television is followed by websites (62% positive, 17% neutral, 8% negative) and radio (48% positive, 20% neutral, 10% negative).
Most Lebanese are satisfied with their lives (59%, compared to an average of 68% for the Mashrek, and 71% for the Maghreb). But they are very worried about the economic situation in their country (82% feel it is bad, compared to 61% in the region). 36% also think their life in general will get worse (13% think it will get better, and 39% think it will be more or less the same).
The EU Neighbours South regional overview report and factsheets are available here.
To find out more about EU - Lebanon cooperation and partnership, go here.