Trust in Estonian political institutions declines
Estonian residents trust the Rescue Board, the police and the country’s Defence Forces the most, while overall trust in political institutions has declined considerably, according to the results of a study commissioned by the Estonian Ministry of Defence.
For the survey, respondents were asked to assess the trustworthiness of ten institutions. A total of 96 percent of respondents fully or rather trusted the Rescue Board, while 86 percent of respondents trusted the police, 77 percent the Defence Forces and 71 percent the Defence League, Estonia’s volunteer corps.
Survey results showed that in respondents’ opinions, the trustworthiness of political institutions had declined. The Riigikogu was trusted by 44 percent and not trusted by 48 percent of survey respondents. The Prime Minister was trusted by 38 percent and not trust by 53 percent of respondents, while the country’s president was trusted by 50 percent and untrusted by 42 of Estonians.
The trustworthiness of the Riigikogu, or the Estonian Parliament, has declined by 4 percentage points, while that of the Estonian government has fallen by 7 percent and the prime minister by 15 percent.
NATO and the EU are trusted overall by 58 and 54 percentage points of Estonians respectively.
Survey results show that Estonian-speaking residents trust state institutions more than Russian-speaking residents. With the Rescue Board and the police being the only exceptions, the differences between levels of trust for all political institutions along linguistic lines were significant.
The biggest differences in trust were recorded in connection with NATO, the Defence League, the Defence Forces, the President and Prime Minister of Estonia. While NATO was trusted by 75 percent of Estonian-speaking residents of the country, it was trusted by just 21 percent of Russian-speaking residents. Respective indicators for the Estonian Defence League were 86 and 37 percent, 62 and 24 percent for the president, 46 and 21 percent for the prime minister, and 90 and 47 percent the Estonian Defence Forces.
This study was commissioned by the Ministry of Defence and carried out by research firm Turu-uuringute AS. Survey respondents included a total of 1,203 Estonian residents aged 15 or over.