Two-Thirds of Czechs Support NATO Membership, Says Poll
67% of respondents expressed satisfaction with the Czech Republic’s NATO membership. Credit: Freepik.
Prague, Sept 19 (CTK) – Two-thirds of Czechs are satisfied with the Czech Republic’s membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), according to a survey published yesterday by the Center for Public Opinion Research (CVVM). Though a slight decline since last spring, the figure remains higher than in previous years.
The proportion of respondents convinced of the need for NATO to exist has also fallen compared to the previous survey, but is still nearly three-quarters.
In this year’s survey, 67% of respondents expressed satisfaction with the Czech Republic’s NATO membership, while around 26% reported dissatisfaction. In terms of political preferences, voters of the current government parties are more likely to be satisfied with NATO membership, while those of the Communists or the opposition Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) are less likely.
Compared to last spring’s survey, the share of Czechs satisfied with NATO membership has dropped by 6 percentage points, but remains higher than in all previous surveys since 1999. A comparable figure was only seen in January 2009 (65%).
“On the contrary, the share of dissatisfied respondents has increased by 7 percentage points compared to spring 2023, and is thus comparable to the February 2020 survey, as well as to a number of other surveys conducted since 2000,” wrote CVVM.
Some 72% of Czechs are currently convinced of the need for the Alliance. Approximately one-fifth of citizens think the organisation is unnecessary and the rest of the respondents were unable to express an opinion.
Compared to last spring, the proportion of people who rate the alliance as necessary has dropped by 11 percentage points, but is nonetheless the second highest since this opinion research began in 2009.
According to the authors of the survey, it is thus evident that the start of the war in Ukraine last February has significantly shaken Czech public opinion of NATO’s usefulness and necessity. “After more than a year of the conflict, however, this belief cooled considerably, although they have not yet returned to their pre-war level,” the researchers concluded.
Half of the respondents also agreed with the statement that NATO is a guarantee of the Czech Republic’s independence. Two-fifths of respondents believe that membership of the Alliance means a form of subordination of the Czech Republic to foreign powers.
In the majority of surveys since 2000, the view that NATO membership is more a form of subordination has significantly prevailed; only in 2009, 2011, 2018 and 2019 were the proportions of supporters and opponents balanced. “The last two surveys from 2022 and 2023 confirmed this reversal and are statistically comparable to the 2020 survey,” CVVM wrote.
CVVM surveyed public opinion for the current poll from 26 May to 24 July. A total of 929 Czech residents aged 15 and over responded.