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Most Slovaks have rosy view of EU's future

Three-quarters of Slovaks view the European Union's future optimistically, a recent Eurobarometer 67 poll showed.

Slovaks expect that after 50 years, the euro will be stronger than the U.S. dollar (66 percent of respondents), and that the EU will have its own army (63 percent), the poll showed. Nearly half of Slovaks polled (49 percent) expect the EU to be the world's leading diplomatic power and 47 percent expect the EU to have a European president directly elected by the citizens of Europe.

The results were published by the TASR newswire.

Ivan Kuhn, author of a national Eurobarometer 67 report on Slovakia, said Slovaks' expectations are in line with the majority opinion, which says that the Slovak government should make decisions about foreign policy and defence in co-operation with the EU.

The poll also showed that Slovaks think the sense of community among EU citizens is mainly created by history (38 percent), languages (31 percent), culture (27 percent), religion (25 percent) and values (24 percent). Slovaks put less importance on economy (21 percent) as a means of creating a feeling of community.

In the future, Slovak respondents expect the EU will mainly focus on environmental issues (32 percent), European foreign policy (30 percent), the fight against crime (28 percent) and the internal market (26 percent).

Since joining the EU in May 2004, Slovaks have been among the biggest EU enlargement supporters. As many as 59 percent were in favour of welcoming new countries to the EU in the future, which is 10 percentage points above the European average. Thirty percent of Slovaks surveyed were against expansion.

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