Most Czechs are convinced that foreigners wanting to live in the country should adapt to local customs as much as possible, with the most important attribute for foreigners being the ability to speak Czech, according to a poll conducted by the CVVM.
On the other hand, Czechs think that foreigners do not have to be married to a Czech, or own an apartment or house in the Czech Republic if they want to live in the country.
Compared to last year, the attitude of the Czech public towards foreigners has not changed much. In a long-term comparison, however, the views of Czechs on foreigners living in the country generally differ quite significantly.
According to the CVVM, the number one opinion that Czech citizens have shared over the long-term is that foreigners need to speak Czech and work in the Czech Republic in order to become integrated. More than four-fifths of the respondents share this view.
Furthermore, another prevalent opinion is that foreigners moving to the Czech Republic should have Czech citizenship, with three-fifths of the population convinced this is the case.
The most significant change in opinion concerns ownership of an apartment or house in Czechia. Only 33 percent of citizens consider it an important factor, but 11 years ago, 42 percent of respondents thought that successful integration in society requires foreigners to buy property in the country.
On the contrary, skin color and knowledge of Czech history and culture have become increasingly important for Czechs, as 41 percent of respondents think that lighter skin color on newcomers is important, and 65 percent of people want foreigners to know Czech history.
In recent years, Czech opinion on whether foreigners living in the Czech Republic for a longer period should adapt to local customs has also changed.
Between 2003 and 2006, around three-fifths of citizens were convinced that foreigners should adapt as much as possible. In 2007, the proportion of Czechs sharing this opinion dropped to 53 percent, while a year later, 63 percent of Czechs supported this view. Then, four years ago, this number increased to 80 percent. In this year’s survey, 73 percent of Czechs said foreigners should adapt to Czech culture.