Based on the results of two Eurobarometer surveys conducted in the spring and the autumn 2017, Slovaks trust the European Parliament (EP) more than the national parliament and consider the European Commission (EC) more trustworthy than the Slovak government.
The survey also showed that some 48 percent of Slovaks believe in the European Union (EU) as a whole.
“Trust in the EU is a bit higher than it used to be,” said Ladislav Miko, head of the European Commission’s Representation to Slovakia head, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “There is also a hike when it comes to trust in the EC, an increase to 44 percent between the spring and the autumn. In addition, trust in the European institutions and optimism for the future went up as well.”
Slovak attitudes are more pro-European than the EU average, Miko added. He welcomes the fact that trust in the EU and its institutions has been increasing.
“We’ve managed to go from figures below 40 percent to above 40 percent,” he said, as quoted by TASR.
Slovaks above-the-average positive
Among other things, the poll scrutinised Slovaks’ stance towards the EU flag: 97 percent of those polled know it, while 66 percent perceive it as a positive symbol and 72 identify with it. As many as 82 percent opine that it should be hung from all public buildings.
In autumn, 75 percent of Slovaks said they feel like citizens of the EU – compared to 72 percent in spring, the Sme daily wrote.
“Three quarters of respondents in Slovakia answered they feel like EU citizens,” Alexander Karvai of the marketing research agency Kantar TNS said. “Slovakia is above the EU average in this issue.”
Asked whether they feel connected with the EU, eight percentage points more respondents answered Yes than in the spring poll, TASR wrote on February 25. In autumn, as many as 60 percent said they feel connected with the Union, which is also above the EU average, Karvai added.
Slovaks consider the free movement of people, goods and services and the euro currency to be the greatest benefits of the Union, Karvai noted for TASR. Conversely, red tape and the waste of money in the EU are the biggest disadvantages for Slovaks.
Slovaks’ trust in the EU is relatively stable, Comenius University’s Faculty of Arts analyst Pavol Baboš claims, adding that the reason why Slovaks trust European institutions more than domestic ones can be explained by the fact that the EP and the EC are more distant than the Slovak parliament and government.
“These are closer and are connected to various scandals, while the EP and the EC scandals don’t reach the people... let’s say corruption scandals don’t go public,” Baboš said, as cited by TASR. “Therefore, trust in Slovak political institutions is lower.”