Survey: Czechs oblivious to what happens abroad

Blahoslav Hruška
4. 9. 2007 18:09
"Supporting the neighbors of the EU? Good but costly"
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house... (Jose Barroso, President of the European Commission)
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house... (Jose Barroso, President of the European Commission) | Foto: Reuters

Brussels Nearly three quarters of the Czech population could not care less about what is taking place outside of their country. Or so they say, according to the latest Eurobarometer survey.

When asked whether they follow what is happening in the countries that are not members of the European Union but have close contacts with the bloc, 73 per cent replied in the negative.

Similar levels of apathy can be found in Lithuania and Poland. On the opposite side of the spectrum is Cyprus with 66 per cent of people there saying they do care, followed by Greece and France.

See the complete results of the survey HERE

Somewhat paradoxically, Czechs on average hold very positive view of the European Union´s neighborhood policy with 73 per cent of those asked expressing belief that supporting the neighboring countries will result in bigger prosperity inside the EU.

What Europeans think of their neighbors
CZ SK DE PL EU 27
Foto: Aktuálně.cz
Foto: Aktuálně.cz
Foto: Aktuálně.cz
Foto: Aktuálně.cz
Foto: Aktuálně.cz
YES NO YES NO YES NO YES NO YES NO
I follow what is happening in the countries neighboring with the EU 27 73 31 69  47 53 30 70 44 56
Supporting the neighboring countries is too expensive 89 11 82 18  91  9 80 20 79  21 
The figures show percentage. The survey was conducted in May and June 2007 in all 27 EU member countries. Source: Eurobarometer

Germans, as the survey shows, think otherwise. Majority of them (57 per cent) does not believe it pays off to invest in the neighboring countries.

Once again contradicting themselves, the Czechs agree with the Germans when it comes to assessing the costs of the EU programs aimed at the neighboring countries. Too expensive, is their resounding verdict.

"We can only win"

The European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner believes the European Neighbourhood Policy can only score positive points.

Lost in translation. Just for a while. (Benita Ferrero-Waldner)
Lost in translation. Just for a while. (Benita Ferrero-Waldner) | Foto: Reuters

"Both sides win. By helping our closest neighbors achieve prosperity and stability, we are making Europe a better place to live," she said.

Ministers of foreign affairs of the EU members states are debating the future of the European Neighbourhood Policy this week in Brussels.

Among other things, they have to agree on how to best divide the 12 billion euro budget, which has been set aside for helping countries covered by the program. They include Azerbaijan, Palestine, Egypt and 13 other states.

 

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Zdroj: ČTK
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