Slovaks perceive the US as a bigger threat than Russia, according to the data of the Globsec think-tank. At the same time, it showed that support for the membership of central and eastern European countries in the EU and NATO is rising.
The public opinion polls were conducted in Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The poll also showed that media and NGOs are positively viewed in those countries as people think they are important for democracy, the SITA newswire reported.
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When comparing which of the two world powers are considered a threat, 41 percent of respondents in Slovakia said it was the US, while only 26 percent said Russia.
Despite this, support for the EU and NATO has grown.
“In most countries, we see a clear preference towards the EU in the question of values as well,” said Dominika Hajdu, analyst of Globsec, as quoted by SITA. “With the exception of Hungary and Romania, more than 60 percent of respondents identify with the values of the union.”
The interesting fact is that about one half of respondents would put their country in the middle between west and east, according to her.
“The reasons differ,” she said, as quoted by SITA. “Some want to gain the best of both worlds, others want their country to be a bridge between the two blocs.”
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NATO support has grown as well, with seven out of 10 respondents perceiving it positively. Daniel Milo of Globsec opined that people realised the guarantee of their own safety.
“Even in countries with generally low support for NATO, the role of the alliance as a guarantor of peace and safety is indisputable,” he said, as quoted by SITA.
The support has also grown in Slovakia, increasing 13 percent compared with 2017.
Polls for Globsec were conducted by seven polling agencies with more than 1,000 respondents in every country.