Discontent with the present but optimistic with the near future, the average Romanian has heard of European institutions but may not know very well how they run their activities. For a Romanian, the European Union means mainly freedom of movement, prosperity, peace and democracy, the latest Eurobarometer ordered by the European Commission shows.

This year’s data differ insignificantly from those of 2005, despite a series of information campaigns in Romania about the EU.

The poll shows the state of mind among Romanians for the first half of 2006 is similar to that of a year ago: 56% are discontent with the current conditions in the country (compared to 18% at EU level), 39% are moderately optimistic about the near future (35% in the EU) and highly optimistic for a medium term of five years (52%, compared to 40% in the EU).

The same study shows that in disagreement with current EU citizens, most Romanians are trusting European institutions. 68% of Romanians do so, compared to 60% in the countries that joined the Union in 2004 and 45% in old member countries.

The same Eurobarometer says only 35% of Romanians trust the Justice system, while their elementary knowledge about the EU stays below 30%.