Magazine article Europe-East

Candidates' Attitudes towards Eu Membership

Magazine article Europe-East

Candidates' Attitudes towards Eu Membership

Article excerpt

According to the latest poll by the Central European Opinion Research Group Foundation (CEORG), the intention to participate in a referendum (those that claim to definitely or rather participate in a referendum) remains high in Hungary and Poland and has significantly risen in the Czech Republic since the last opinion poll in May 2002, and the support of EU accession in Hungary has fallen sharply.

A large increase in intended participation was in the Czech Republic where 77.4% of the population would participate in the referendum, compared to 63% in May 2002. In Hungary the already high number intending to vote rose by 1.7% to 77.8% and in Poland by 0.5% to 72.1%. CEORG compares these figures to the figures of the latest general election participation rates when 58% of Czechs (June 2002), 70.5% of Hungarians (April 2002) and 61% of Poles (October 2001) participated in the polls.

The research shows that since May, the support for EU accession among those that would vote has not risen in any of the countries. In Hungary the support fell by 9.2% to 75.1%, in Poland and the Czech Republic the changes were rather insignificant by (decrease by 1.6% and 0.4% respectively). The Czech Republic remains the most Euro sceptic and Hungary the most Euro eager of the three.

Among the potential voters in the referenda, women generally tend to be more sceptical and more undecided about EU than men. With higher age the support for EU is decreasing (except for some variations in Poland). In Hungary, in the age group of 60+, there is a significant number of those that intend to take part in a referendum but do not know how to vote (18. …

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