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.
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.
Most respondents (60 %) ruled out the idea that our country was in a danger of a military attack, about one fifth (22 %) is not certain on this issue. The remaining 18 % could define a specific danger, most often this being international terrorism (10 %). There is a frequent opinion (62 %) that if “something happened” we could not defend ourselves anyway, and also that world powers would be deciding about our little country (61 %).
The current issues of preparation for the attack on Iraq were repeatedly monitored by Public Opinion Research Centre after approximately half a year. At the present, a mere 28 % of Czech citizens would agree with the military conflict against Iraq, while in spring this figure reached as high as 39%. Support for a military operation without the mandate of the Security Council of the UN is considerably lower.
61 % of citizens are currently satisfied with the membership of the CZ in NATO; on the other hand 23 % of respondents expressed their dissatisfaction. The Czech public continues to see Czech membership in NATO as more or less a certain form of subordination of the country to foreign powers (50 %) than an instrument ensuring its independence (43 %). According to 49 % of citizens the membership of the CZ in NATO is an instrument ensuring peace and safety for the country; on the contrary 46 % see it as a factor bringing an increased risk of the Czech Republic being dragged into a war.
The upcoming NATO Summit in Prague is seen by almost a half of citizens (49%) unfavourably, by 37% favourably and 14% could not take a stand. A similar question asked before the meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in September 2000 was answered positively by the same number of respondents as in the case of the NATO Summit, however the amount of negative answers was significantly lower (32%).
According to the October survey, 26% of respondents rate activities of the European Union favourably and 11% are of the opposite opinion. 41% of citizens see EU activities as neither clearly positive nor negative. More than 70% of respondents agree with the statement that values of democracy and co-operation are asserted in the EU. On the other hand, according to 44%, equality is not practised in the EU, they also view critically the enforcement of justice and tolerance.
Citizenship is most noticeably manifested during elections; in case of the Czech entry to the European Union, the issue of the actual entry of the CZ to the EU, that is to say participation and voting in the referendum, is the first and most important decision, which will be followed by others – new citizens of the European Union will be voting members into the European Parliament on behalf of the Czech Republic.
65 % of citizens are very or at least “partially” interested in the entry of the CZ to the EU, which is 8 percentage points more than a year ago. In general, society has a prevailing opinion that the information about the process of the integration of the CZ in the EU is insufficient (59 %), with the opposite opinion scoring 33 %. However, among the people who are “very” interested in the entry of the CZ to the EU, there is a predominating opinion that the information is sufficient.
Respondents are mostly convinced about the partial loss of sovereignty of the country. Furthermore, on one hand people more frequently think that the membership of the CZ in the EU will bring greater security, greater legal and democratic safeguards, improvement in the quality of Czech legislation and economic benefits, but also risks associated with migration of the population and economic problems including a drop in the standard of living.