In its February survey, among other things, Public Opinion Research Centre focused on some aspects of relations between Czechs and Slovaks. The first question was to establish how often Czech citizens visited the Slovak Republic. The following questions concentrated on issues of how many people had relatives or friends in Slovakia and to which degree knowledge of the Slovak language was wide-spread. The respondents’ answers show that a third of Czech citizens visit the Slovak Republic less often than they did before the disintegration of the common state.

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Currently, 69 % of respondents claim a large or partial interest in the entry of the CZ to the EU. When evaluating how much information relating to the procedure of entering the EU Czech citizens had at their disposal, similarly as before, there was a prevailing feeling of insufficiency of the information (56 %); while 40 % of respondents are satisfied. Comprehensibility of the available information is rated considerably better (55 % satisfied, 39 % dissatisfied).

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A strong intention to participate in the referendum on the accession of the Czech Republic to the European Union at this point has been shown by 42 % of respondents, another 36 % have promised their participation with some hesitation ("probably yes"). Seven percent were still considering their decision and the remaining 15 % would not come to the referendum. The readiness to vote in the referendum remains under the influence of certain cooling phenomena recorded at the beginning of January.

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From our surveys we know that this summit was the most important event at the end of November and beginning of December, and still in January it was named among the most significant recent events by 22 % of respondents to this research. We were interested in how people rated this event. It was predominantly valued by people favourably; a “definitely positive” or “mostly positive” opinion was shared by 56 % of respondents.

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The relations with Poland (89 %) and Slovakia (89 %) are most frequently considered to be good. Moreover, there is a relatively high share of positive opinions concerning relations with Hungary (82 %) and Germany (79 %). Relations with Austria are seen significantly less favourably, (where 48 % of respondents rate them as good and 49 % view them negatively).

Relations with Poland and Slovakia are considered to be good on a steady basis.

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According to the Czech public, in the current situation it is necessary to maintain stability, peace and not to proceed without the approval of other countries on the Security Council. Only 24% of CZ citizens support a military attack on Iraq, which has been the lowest registered degree of consent since the start of US efforts to continue the fight against terrorism in this way. Two thirds of respondents are against the attack.

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At the beginning of January, decisions of the population in the referendum on the entry of the country to the European Union and their opinions on the implemented pre-accession talks were surveyed in these three countries. The intention to participate in the referendum about accession to the European Union was stated by 79 % of the Czech population, but only 42 % of those asked firmly decided to participate.

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In the beginning of December, 46 % of Czechs, 61 % of Poles and 68 % of Hungarians had firmly decided to participate in the hypothetical referendum on the accession of their country to the EU. In the CZ a third (31 %) intends to “more likely” participate – in Poland and Hungary it is only 10 %. Poles most frequently refused to take part in the referendum, reaching the share of one fifth. The proportion of those that are considering their participation in the referendum amounts to about 10 % in all the three countries.

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The October survey confirmed that the public assessed the work of the delegation discussing the accession of the CZ to the EU most frequently in a positive way - 47 % of respondents think that it pushes through Czech interests in a sufficient manner. However, one third (33 %) is convinced that it is not so. A fifth (20 %) cannot assess the situation. Since the spring of last year the share of citizens without more specific ideas about the work of our negotiators has been gradually growing smaller and the group manifesting their dissatisfaction has climbed up from 27% to the current one third.

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The relations of the CZ with Poland (90 %) and Slovakia (87 %) are most frequently considered to be good. Moreover, there is a relatively high share of positive opinions concerning relations with Hungary (80 %) and Germany (74 %). Relations with Austria are seen significantly less favourably (38%), more than a half of respondents view them negatively.

The positive evaluation of relations of the CZ with Slovakia has grown by 31 percentage points during the last six years.

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