FSD2191 Finnish EU Attitudes Autumn 1994

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European Union, European integration, constitutions, referendums

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The survey studied Finnish public opinion on the country's proposed membership in the European Union, and the forthcoming referendum on EU membership. Finnish perceptions of the EU were also charted.

The respondents were asked whether they thought Finland should join the EU or not, how firm their opinion was, and how dependent on the issue of agricultural subsidies. Opinions on agricultural/farming subsidies in general were queried. The respondents were asked how interested they were in issues connected with the EU and European integration process, and how well informed they were of these issues. One question asked whether they intended to vote in the referendum on EU membership. Opinions on the likelihood of Finland becoming an EU member state were charted. Regarding the European integration process, the respondents were asked how negatively or positively they viewed the possibility that Finland would participate in common foreign policy, common security and defence policy, single European currency, etc.

The survey studied perceptions of the impact EU membership would have on Finland (e.g. on standard of living, employment, business conditions, crime, social security, national sovereignty, science and research, education, disparity). The respondents were also asked to what extent they agreed with fifty attitudinal statements relating to the EU and Finland's EU membership (e.g. "If Finland did not join the EU now, it would be able to negotiate better terms of accession later" or "Compared to Finland, social security is just as good or better in many EU member states"). Perceptions of the EU were studied with the help of various characterisations (secretive, democratic, promotes welfare in Europe, unreliable negotiation partner, etc.). Finally, the respondents were asked to estimate the percentage of Finns who would vote against the membership in the referendum.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, age group, size of the municipality, province of residence, vocational education, economic activity, employment sector, trade union membership, and which political party R would vote for if the parliamentary elections were held at that time.

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