On 1 May 2004, the Czech Republic became a fully-fledged member of the European Union. At the same time, another 9 states made the same step and the European Union enlarged to the current 25 member states. At present, the European integration process is considered for further continuation – Bulgaria and Romania already signed the accession treaty. Citizens decided in a referendum on the accession of our country.
This year sixty years have passed since the end of the Second World War and since the liberation of our country from German occupation. In connection with this anniversary, number of events, articles, television and radio programmes commemorated and discussed the war events, key military operations, antifascist movement, etc. How does the Czech public see this difficult period of history (which so significantly affected, apart from other things, the development of the second half of the 20th century in our country and elsewhere) six decades later? What do people know about it? The results of a survey executed by the Centre of Public Opinion Research (CVVM) of the Sociological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in November 2004 within a regular continuous survey, which included questions dealing with the Second World War and the Czechoslovak antifascist movement, can give us at least a partial answer.
As a consequence of historic and social factors, ethnic minorities are represented in the Czech Republic. In democratic countries, all minorities must enjoy identical rights and the possibility to develop their own cultural identity as majority society. Identifying ethnic structure is necessary in order to map where and for whom certain measures need to be developed chiefly in education and social services.
* Abstention from elections as one of the indicators of social cohesion / non-cohesion and its wider context (with special regard to the 2004 regional elections)
The initial empirical background for this study (and a springboard for analysis of supplementary data and for further interpretation and hypothetic conclusions) is based on the results of a public opinion survey carried out by the Centre for Public Opinion Research between 17 and 24 January 2005. The inquired group consisted of 1037 people over 15 years of age, and a sub-group of 813 people eligible to participate in regional elections.
* Method of elections, powers of authority and the role of the president of the republic: public opinion versus constitutional practice
In every democratic system, the position of the head of state has a specific meaning and various administrative and constitutional embedment. It is an institutional as well as symbolic expression of the state’s sovereignty, of its “unity in diversity” in the context of pluralistic democracy. Conceptual arrangements are very diverse within modern democratic constitutionality: in some states, the head of state is only a symbol of constitutionality and his/her powers are either entirely formal (Great Britain) or very restricted (Federal Republic of Germany, Austria).
Occupational reputation as viewed by the general public is among interesting topics immediately related to labour issues and, indirectly, to other problem areas such as value orientation or modernization. At the end of last year, occupational reputation was analysed as part of one of the ongoing investigations of the Centre for Public Opinion Research (CVVM) of the Sociological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.
The pub is a notion under which anybody who spent at least some time in the Czech Republic is able to imagine something specific. Of course, it actually covers diverse types of catering facilities. Other facilities, on the other hand, do not acknowledge this name even if they could. Similarly, individual people’s ideas as to what exactly Czech pub stands for differ to a greater or lesser degree.
New issue of journal Czech Society, which has set task to inform society about results of public opinion surveys, has released in autumn 2005. It brings 7 articles in sections : Topical Issues, Theory for Everybody and In the Context. The bulletin is a follow up to periodical Czech Public Opinion in a European Context and it is a part of the homonymous project supported by Academy of Sciences of Czech Republic.