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Survey: Czechs fear terrorism most in EU, not interested in EP

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Strasbourg/Prague, Oct 19 (CTK) – The latest survey of the European Parliament (EP) published on Wednesday shows an increasingly positive perception of the EU by the Europeans overall, while Czechs reveal an extreme fear of terrorism, low trust in the EP and low interest in the EP election.

The survey, Parlemeter 2017, is based on interviews carried out with 27,881 Europeans aged over 15 across the 28 EU member states from September 23 to October 2, 2017. It maps the citizens’ views on their country’s membership in the bloc, their say in the EU or the priorities of European politics.

According to the survey, 29 percent of Czechs see the EU as a good thing, while 49 percent maintain an ambiguous position on it.

Only 18 percent of Czechs perceive the European Parliament positively, which is the smallest share of positive perception of the body in all of the EU, despite the majority of Czechs (56 percent) saying the EU membership is beneficial for their country.

Czechs are interested in the next EP election the least of all Europeans, with only 23 percent showing interest. They are followed by Slovaks with 30 percent. The EU’s average interest in the EP election is 55 percent.

Czechs seem to fear terrorism the most of the EU member states, as nearly 70 percent of them said terrorism was a significant threat for the EU, while 55 percent of Czechs believe the EU should protect its citizens against uncontrolled migration.

“Results in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovakia or Poland, for instance, might suggest that the national political discourse is more influencing citizens’ perception than the factual situation in the country,” the report’s authors comment on the fact that the Czech Republic is in fact dealing with neither high numbers of illegal immigrants nor with terrorist attacks.

Overall, the number of EU’s proponents has increased over the past years, as 57 percent of all Europeans now see the EU as a good thing, while almost 64 percent of them think their country’s membership in the EU is beneficial.

At the same time though, the majority of Europeans think that the EU is stagnating or taking a wrong course.

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