- Hans Weber
- December 1, 2023
Two-Thirds of Czechs Remain Satisfied with NATO Membership Despite Decline in Support
A recent survey conducted by the Center for Public Opinion Research (CVVM) reveals that despite a slight decline in satisfaction compared to the previous survey conducted last spring, two-thirds of Czechs are still satisfied with the Czech Republic’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This figure remains higher than in previous years, reflecting ongoing support for NATO membership.
Specifically, in this year’s survey, 67% of respondents expressed satisfaction with Czech NATO membership, while approximately 26% reported dissatisfaction. Notably, respondents from the current government parties were more likely to express satisfaction with NATO membership, while those aligned with the Communists or the opposition Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) were less likely to do so.
Compared to the previous survey conducted last spring, the percentage of Czechs satisfied with NATO membership has declined by 6 percentage points but remains higher than in all previous surveys since 1999. A comparable level of satisfaction was only seen in January 2009 (65%).
However, the survey also indicates that the proportion of Czechs convinced of the necessity of NATO’s existence has fallen compared to the previous survey but still stands at nearly three-quarters of respondents.
Approximately 72% of Czechs currently believe in the need for NATO, while around one-fifth of citizens consider the organization unnecessary, with the rest unable to express an opinion.
The decline in the perceived necessity of NATO can be attributed, in part, to the impact of the war in Ukraine, which began in February 2022. The conflict has significantly influenced Czech public opinion regarding NATO’s usefulness and necessity. While this belief cooled somewhat after more than a year of the conflict, it has not yet returned to pre-war levels.
Despite this decline, half of the respondents agreed that NATO is a guarantee of the Czech Republic’s independence, while two-fifths believed that NATO membership entails a form of subordination to foreign powers. The view that NATO membership signifies a form of subordination has often prevailed in surveys since 2000, with a few exceptions. However, the latest surveys from 2022 and 2023 indicated a reversal, with statistically comparable results to the 2020 survey.
The survey conducted by CVVM included responses from 929 Czech residents aged 15 and over and was carried out from May 26 to July 24. The findings illustrate the complex dynamics surrounding public opinion on NATO membership in the Czech Republic, influenced by political preferences and external events such as the conflict in Ukraine.
Article by Prague Forum