03. 07. 2017 14:09
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.
As Gyárfášová said, NATO membership has always been a more delicate issue for the Slovak public. The survey results suggest, however, that there is no need to maintain a low profile, PR-wise, on the issue of Slovakia's NATO commitments "On the contrary, open and confident communications by politicians can contribute towards a positive embracing of NATO," stated Gyárfášová. The survey was carried out by the Focus agency on a sample of 1,012 respondents between May 31st and June 4th.