Analyzing the dynamics in the attitudes of youth in the post-Soviet countries towards CIS intergration processes
Keywords:youth, attitudes towards integration processes, post-Soviet space, Integration barometer
The paper provides an analysis of the dynamics of youth perceptions of integration processes in the post-Soviet countries. The study is focused on the opinions and preferences of young persons aged 18-24 living in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia and Tajikistan. Which countries are the most attractive for the young generations to live, work and study? Which countries are good to develop economic relations with, to exchange technologies with and to attract specialists from? What attitudes do youngsters have towards Russia, the U.S.A. and China? What do young people think about the Eurasian Economic Union, and how do they assess the potential for economic rapprochement between the CIS countries for the next five years? The paper provides the answers to these questions using the data of the annual Integration Barometer conducted by the Eurasian Development Bank in cooperation with the Eurasian Monitor (2012-2017 waves). The results show that the attitudes vary substantially depending on the economic and political situation in the world. At the same time, there has been a drop in youth interest in Russia and an increase in their preferences for Germany, the U.S., Turkey and China, whether it be an internship, courses or a job. However, young people from the Central Asia view positively the Eurasian Economic Union and appreciate the integration with the post-Soviet states. On the contrary, young Moldovans and Armenians increasingly turn their eyes toward Western countries and are less likely to cooperate with Russia in social, cultural and economic spheres.