Bratislava, June 3 (TASR) – Germany is Slovakia’s most trusted foreign partner, and support among Slovaks for NATO membership has increased by 13 percent since 2018, according to the GLOBSEC Trends 2021 survey, the results of which were published by GLOBSEC at a news conference on Thursday.
The survey was carried out in ten countries of Central and Eastern Europe (Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) in March 2021.
The organisation’s analyst Daniel Milo pointed to differences between individual countries in terms of perceiving strategic partners unveiled by the survey.
“Germany is still by far the most trustworthy strategic partner for Slovakia,” stated Milo, mentioning EU membership and Slovakia’s economic ties with Germany. Sixty-four percent of the respondents in Slovakia viewed Germany as the most important strategic partner compared to 54 percent in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region on average.
Milo also pointed to the perception of NATO. “Since 2018, support among Slovaks for NATO has grown by 13 percent, while the share of those who would vote to leave NATO in a potential referendum is on the decline,” he said.
US President Joe Biden is viewed positively by 53 percent of the respondents in Central and Eastern Europe. Russian President Vladimir Putin enjoys 35-percent support in the region.
In Slovakia, Biden is viewed positively by 55 percent of the population, with Putin on 56 percent. According to Milo, this is a “key finding” when compared to “the negative mood” regarding former US president Donald Trump, who was viewed positively by only 16 percent of Slovak respondents in 2018.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was viewed positively by 62 percent of the respondents in the CEE region, with the figure at 56 percent in Slovakia. The same view of French President Emmanuel Macron was voiced by 54 percent in the region and 68 percent in Slovakia.
One in five people (19 percent) in Slovakia agrees with the claim that the Chinese regime might be an inspiration. Some 11 percent of respondents in the region agree with this opinion.
A total of 65 percent of people in Slovakia thinks that human rights in China are systematically violated, but only 23 percent view China as a threat.
More than a half of people in seven of the ten countries surveyed want more regulation of social networks, with the figure in Slovakia at 71 percent.