Czechs’ satisfaction with their membership in the European Union has dropped by ten percent to 46 percent since last November. A survey conducted by the STEM agency also showed that the decline is caused by Czechs’ fears of the economic and global situation as well as a vague idea of what role the European Union has had in the coronavirus pandemic.
The public’s sense of belonging to Europe has also diminished a little – 69 percent of Czechs percieve themselves as Europeans, while 75 percent stated the same eight months ago.
“Confidence in other international institutions, such as, for example, NATO, has also decreased slightly in recent months. The index of household financial security has also dropped,” said STEM analyst Nikola Hořejš.
He reminded that in the past, the confidence of Czechs in the EU decreased the most during the eurozone crisis and the economic recession in the country from 2009 to 2012. He did not rule out that this situation could repeat itself. At the beginning of 2009, more than two-thirds of people were satisfied with the EU membership, over the next three years the number dropped by 28 percent.
According to STEM agency findings, only 36 percent of respondents believe that Czechia can influence what is happening in the EU and put its position there into effect.
At the same time, more than half of the people do not agree that the EU should have more powers in exceptional situations, such as the coronavirus pandemic, so that it could act on its own faster and not wait for decisions of national states.
Two-thirds of people are convinced that the Czech economy can overcome the economic recession only if the economic growth of the Union’s major countries resumes. According to a similar number of Czechs, the EU is to guarantee the money borrowed by individual member states to overcome the effects of the coronavirus epidemic.
Slightly more people, 73 percent, think that it is right for the money from the Union budget to go mainly to the regions most affected by the coronavirus.
STEM asked 1,000 people between May 22 and June 1 about their views on the EU and the economic recovery of the EU countries.
Title image: Czechs march carrying a large European Union flag across the medieval Charles Bridge downtown Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019. Thousands marched to mark the anniversary of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia and to reflect on the current political situation. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)