Slovaks like the EU but they are not motivated to vote

In Slovakia, the remain vote would have it if there was a referendum on exiting the EU, sociologist opines.

A man walks with an umbrella outside EU headquarters in Brussels.A man walks with an umbrella outside EU headquarters in Brussels. (Source: AP/TASR)

In this story, you can read about:

  • The deepening differences in opinions about the EU
  • How the situation changed in three years
  • Why Slovaks are not motivated to vote
  • How education influence people's decision (not) to vote

More than half of Slovaks believe EU membership to be a good thing for Slovakia. But when it comes to voting for people who will represent them in the European Parliament, they have little motivation to turn out.

A recent poll, conducted between April 8 and 14, 2019, shows that 54 percent of Slovaks consider Slovakia’s membership in the EU positively, while only 8 percent see it as a bad thing. More than one third of respondents have an ambivalent feeling about the EU – they claim it is not good, neither a bad thing. The Focus polling agency carried out the research per order by the local think tank Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) and the Hanns Siedel’s Foundation. They interviewed 1,026 respondents.

“If there happened to be a referendum about Slovakia leaving the EU, I think that those who are for the membership of Slovakia in the EU would certainly win,” opined IVO analyst Oľga Gyárfášová.

Still, Slovaks' positive attitude is below the EU average of 61 percent.

Deepening gorge between for-EU and anti-EU

The poll also provides data on whether "the EU is a good thing" based on the political preferences of Slovaks in elections to the national parliament.

Those who would vote for liberals from the coalition of Progressive Slovakia and Spolu in the upcoming election are more likely to believe EU membership to be good – 86 percent of them. On the other end of the scale, only 20 percent of voters of the far-right People’s Party - Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) see EU membership as a good thing.

“The opinions about membership of Slovakia in the EU had always varied, but there has never been such a dramatic difference like we see today,” Gyárfášová opined.

In 2016, the most pro-European voters were among the supporters of the Sieť party, but support for EU membership only amounted to a little above 60 percent. ĽSNS also represented the opposite attitude back then, but still more than 30 percent of their supporters believed EU membership to be good for Slovakia.

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Theme: European Union

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