The perception of Moldovan citizens towards NATO
Security is the most important “public property” by the state, which is dependent on the perception of security among the population. Polls show that public perception has undergone several changes in recent years. Since 2005 more citizens favor the option of neutrality of Moldova, in 2016 this indicator reached almost 60%. Meanwhile there is a rapid decrease of the people undecided, at maximum 40% in 2005 to 10% in 2016. Another important trend is the gradual decrease of supporters related to becoming a NATO member. Maximum support was recorded in 2005 by 30%, followed by a gradual decline to below 10% in 2011, and a slow increase to 20% in 2014. Since 2014 there was again a downward trend against the background of the crisis in Ukraine returning back to 10% in 2016. Public perception is an indicator of the culture of security among citizens, which according to experts in the field is very poorly developed. This is due to lack of national unity and social cohesion, limited access to trustworthy information, the low quality of local media and the indifference of the political class. The negligence towards defense and security issues can have a number of negative consequences for Moldova. One example we can see the effects of the crisis in Ukraine, which has resulted in territorial losses, political instability, a ruined economy and a major humanitarian crisis.