Dr Jonathan Eyal the International Director of the Royal United Services Institute wrote a commentary with extensive quotes from GLOBSEC Trends public opinion polls titled- Slovakia, the Visegrad Group and Brexit: Charity Should Begin at Home. The commentary analyzes the stance of the political presentative of Visegrad countries – Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia - towards Brexit.
Slovakia’s prime minister Fico is a harsh critic of Britain and of Brexit. However, a recent study completed by the GLOBSEC Policy Institute, the Bratislava-based think tank where Milan Nic is a research director, reveals that Prime Minister Fico’s ardent European sentiments are not exactly shared by either his nation, or by the other Visegrad member states.
The GLOBSEC Trends study indicates that the Slovaks have the lowest affinity with the broader ‘West’ than the other Visegrad member states: only 23% claimed that their country is unequivocally ’part of the West’, compared with 32% of Hungarians and 30% of Czechs. Conversely, 12% of Slovak respondents answered that they consider themselves part of the East, double the comparable figure of Hungarians, and triple the Czech respondents’ figure.
That estrangement from the West – broadly defined – is also confirmed in attitudes towards the US: only a third of Slovaks believe that the US plays a positive role in the world; no less than 59% consider the US role to be negative. While the Czech respondents shared a similar – albeit it slightly less negative – view, the Hungarian respondents were markedly more sympathetic to the US, with just 39% considering its role in the world to be negative.
NATO does not fare much better either. Only 30% of the Slovak respondents believe that their country’s membership in the Alliance is ’a good thing’, compared to 47% of Hungarians and 44% of Czechs. More than half of the Slovaks said that they oppose the stationing of NATO infrastructure on their country’s soil. And almost half of the Slovaks surveyed identify the US and NATO as ’responsible for the Ukraine crisis’.
Read the whole commentary of Dr Jonathan Eyal at RUSI: Slovakia, the Visegrad Group and Brexit: Charity Should Begin at Home