IVO survey on foreign policy orientation of Slovakia’s population

Institute for Public Affairs conducted representative opinion poll about the foreign policy orientations of Slovakia’s citizens. The poll was carried out approximately one year later than right-wing extremist party Kotleba – ĽSNS launched a petition in favor of organizing the referendum on Slovakia’s withdrawal from the EU and NATO. While no information was published yet about exact number of signatures collected by extremists in favor their proposal, the poll results indicate quite high public support for country’s pro-Western orientation. The survey is a part of a project Focused on Extremism.

Table 1: Citizens’ trust toward the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Alliance (NATO), in % 

            EU                      NATO          
Completely trust 29,9 73,9 19,4 58,2
Rather trust 44,0 38,8
Rather distrust 15,2 22,6 23,0 36,3
Totally distrust 7,4 13,3
Don’t know 3,6 3,6 5,5 5,5

Source: Inštitút pre verejné otázky, June 2017.

Press Release [pdf, in Slovak]


Slovak and foreign media widely informed about the poll findings.

Most Slovaks approve EU and NATO membership
Mojmir Prochazka, Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS), 03. 07. 2017

A total of 74% of adult Slovaks approve of Slovakia's EU membership, while 58% approve of NATO membership, according to a recent survey conducted by the Public Affairs Institute (IVO), reported TASR citing Oľga Gyárfášová of IVO on Friday. Major approval of membership in both organisations was displayed by potential voters of all main political parties excluding those of the far-right People's Party Our Slovakia. As many as 49% of them support EU membership and only 30% of the party's voters are in favour of NATO membership. The highest share of EU-membership supporters was recorded among voters of the Freedom and Solidarity party - 95%, followed by the Christian Democratic Movement - 85% and the Slovak National Party - 82%. Gyárfášová believes that a shift in PM Robert Fico's public stance from criticism of Brussels regarding the migration crisis towards articulating Slovak ambitions to be inducted into an 'A-league' or the EU core has worked to stabilise or even bolster pro-European sentiment among both sympathisers of his Smer-SD party and the Slovak public.

Majority of Slovaks favors EU, NATO membership
Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-01 Editor: Mu Xuequan

BRATISLAVA, June 30 (Xinhua) -- Some 74 percent of adult Slovaks approved of Slovakia's European Union (EU) membership, while 58 percent approved of NATO membership, Olga Gyarfasova of the Slovak Public Affairs Institute (IVO) announced Friday.

The IVO survey was carried out by Focus agency on a sample of 1,012 respondents between May 31 and June 4.

"Strong support for EU membership, however, could also be a reaction from the Slovak public to turbulent developments in Britain and Brexit, to the increased presence of a European agenda in Slovak public debate on possible future scenarios or a clear rejection of the EU-disapproving stance of the far right," claimed Gyarfasova.

Regarding NATO membership, it has always been a more delicate issue for the Slovak public, noted Gyarfasova.

The survey results suggest, however, that there's no need to maintain a low profile, PR-wise, on the issue of Slovakia's NATO commitments like the recent stationing of Slovak troops in the Baltic region, and the creation of a NATO liaison command in Slovakia with an eye towards not stirring up expected anti-NATO public sentiment.

"On the contrary, open and confident communications by politicians can contribute towards a positive embracing of NATO," added Gyarfasova.

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