Prague, Czech Republic – About three-fifths of Czechs are satisfied with their country’s EU membership, the highest level since 2010, according to a new survey by the STEM polling agency.
Pro-EU sentiment on the rise in the Czech Republic
In the latest survey, 57% of Czechs declare being satisfied with being a member of the European Union, a record from the past ten years.
After reaching 69% in 2009 following the onset of the financial crisis and the last time the Czech Republic held the rotating presidency of the EU, satisfaction with EU membership plummeted and steadily declined, reaching an all-time low of 35% in 2016 (see graph below).
According to the latest STEM poll, 79% of Czechs say they “feel European”, a level last reached in 2005.
Although the latest surveys suggest that pro-EU sentiment is one the rise in a country long known for its Euroscepticism, other results indicate that Czechs now assess their own economic situation and domestic developments more negatively than in the past.
A fragile trend
A majority of the population (61%) also thinks that the Czech government cannot influence key decisions made at the EU level, and still do not know exactly who represents them within EU institutions.
According to STEM analyst Nikola Hořejš, the Czech population’s growing pro-European sentiment could easily be reversed if the EU fails to reach a consensus on the next multi-annual budget, as Brussels finds itself clashing with V4 allies Poland and Hungary over rule-of-law conditionality.
Long-running surveys on the issue show that Czechs are in favour of reforming the EU, while only a small minority explicitly calls for the Czech Republic to leave the 27-member bloc.
The STEM agency survey was carried out from October 22 to November 2 from a representative panel of over 1,000 adult participants. You can find the study here (link in Czech) for more detailed results.