Trust in the EU climbing up in Slovakia

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After another Orban victory in Hungary and ongoing political brawls about refugee-relocation schemes[1] there is a view that east Europeans disdain European institutions.

But it turns out that nearly half of people in Slovakia say they trust the EU:

Trust_in_the_EU_among_respondents_in_Slovakia_Trust_chartbuilder

Three points:

  • Elite rhetoric is not always a reliable barometer of what the average citizen thinks. What politicians say when they criticize the EU may reflect the public mood, or it can reflect lazy tactical calculations.
  • People's opinions can change over time. Trust in the EU suffered during the debt crises but that clearly doesn't mean that a downward trend is inevitable.
  • Visegrad (V4) countries are not all the same. In 2015, only 26% of Czechs trusted in the EU. The percentage has increased slightly[2] since then but people Czechia continue to distrust the EU more than Slovaks. In Hungary 41 to 48 percent of Eurobarometer respondents said they trusted in the EU between 2016 and 2017.

Related post: Iveta Radičová on anti-EU sentiment


  1. Brussels takes on (most of the) Visegrad Group over refugees: "The Visegrad Group has relocated 28 refugees in total out of a combined quota of 11,069. Brussels’ decision to take action could backfire by widening the gap between the West and East in the bloc at a time when relations with Poland and Hungary are at a low point because of spats over the rule of law and respect for democracy. ↩︎

  2. 35% of Czechs trusted in the EU in late 2017. ↩︎

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