Slovaks do not feel very positive about the membership of their country in the EU. Instead, they are becoming more insecure, as stems from a recent Eurobarometer survey titled Future of Europe 2021, which was carried out between September and October 2021.
Only 39 percent of 1,020 respondents from Slovakia said they consider EU membership a good thing. On the other hand, 10 percent said that it was a bad thing, and the remaining 50 percent has a neutral opinion.
Paradoxically, 72 percent of Slovaks said that their country benefits from the EU membership, the Euractiv.sk website reported.
Support dropping towards the west
The survey suggests that the support of EU membership is falling towards the west of the country. As many as 56 percent of respondents from eastern Slovakia said that EU membership is a good thing.
Yet, the negative feelings about the membership are very similar across the regions – from 9 percent in the east, through 10 percent in central and western Slovakia, to 12 percent in the Bratislava Region.
As many as 66 percent of Bratislavans said the EU membership is neither good nor bad thing. This opinion is shared by 58 percent of respondents in western Slovakia, 52 percent in central Slovakia, and 34 percent in eastern Slovakia.
The support of EU membership differs among age groups as well. As many as 57 percent of Slovaks aged 15-24 years consider the membership a good thing, while in the age group of 25-34 years it is about 50 percent, and in the age group of 35-44 years it is 47 percent. The lowest trust is in the age group 55-64 years, according to Euractiv.
At the same time, respondents who are manual workers or unemployed, as well as people who say they struggle to pay their bills and people seeing themselves as the members of “the working class” have low trust in EU membership.
Clear support continues falling
Slovakia never had more than 13 percent of respondents saying that EU membership is a bad thing. Yet, the share of people who were rather fond of the EU was higher until 2018; since then, the share of people with a neutral opinion prevails.
The trend of clear support for EU membership in Slovakia keeps dropping also when compared to the EU average which, on the contrary, keeps rising.
Paradoxically, 72 percent of Slovaks said EU membership is beneficial for the country, which is the same share as the EU average.
For 38 percent of respondents, the biggest advantage is that the EU is giving them new job opportunities.