FSD2190 Finnish EU Attitudes Spring 1993

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Authors

  • Centre for Finnish Business and Policy Studies (EVA)
  • Yhdyskuntatutkimus

Keywords

European Community, European Union, European integration, information sources, institutions

Abstract

The survey studied Finnish public opinion on European integration, the country's proposed membership in the European Community, and the impact of the membership. Other main themes were the reliability of information sources on EC issues and views on how well the Finnish society functions.

First, the respondents were asked whether they were in favour of or against Finland's EC membership, and to what extent their views depended on the terms of the accession treaty (transition periods, exemptions). The respondents were also asked how interested they were in issues connected with the EC and European integration, and how well informed they were of these issues. Opinions on the likelihood of their voting in a referendum on EC membership and likelihood of Finland becoming an EC member state were charted. One topic pertained to the European integration process, and how negatively or positively the respondents viewed the possibility that Finland would participate in common foreign policy, common economic policy, single European currency, etc. The survey studied perceptions of the impact the EC membership would have on Finland (e.g. on standard of living, employment, business conditions, price and wage level, social security, national sovereignty, situation of farmers, pensioners, children and families with children). The respondents were also asked to what extent they agreed with a number of attitudinal statements relating to the EC and Finland's EC membership (e.g. "the EC membership obliges Finns to comply with many norms and detailed regulations which we do not need or want").

The survey also studied opinions on the reliability of various information sources (e.g. radio and television, trade unions, company executives, the Prime Minister, the Government, voluntary organisations opposing the membership) on the EC membership issue. The respondents were asked to rate on a scale from 4-10 how various bodies and institutions (the police, the judiciary, Parliament, universities, social security and health care systems, the Government, political parties, etc.) have performed in recent times. The respondents also graded Finland as a welfare state, civilised state, constitutional state, as a democracy, etc.

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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