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May 17, 2018

Head of Nézőpont Institute says two-thirds of citizens in central and eastern Europe want to see strengthened regional cooperation

In Hungary, 68 percent of people said they backed the country’s EU membership

The head of the Nézőpont Institute has said that two-thirds of citizens in central and eastern Europe want to see strengthened regional cooperation.

During a conference on central European cooperation, Csaba Fodor said that from 1,000 respondents surveyed in nine countries, 80 percent had heard of the Visegrad Group and 65 percent saw the forum as important.

He said that only 20 percent had heard of the Three Seas Initiative, a forum of CEE countries belonging to the EU around the Baltics, Adriatic and Black Sea, and 64 percent also viewed that as important.

According to MTI, the survey included recipients from Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria.

The numbers show that 75 percent of respondents said they supported their countries’ EU membership, with the Polish and Romanian support the highest at 84 percent.

The Czech and Slovak citizens demonstrated the lowest numbers with 24 and 28 percent respectively.

In Hungary, 68 percent said they backed the country’s EU membership. Asked about the EU leadership, 53 percent said they were dissatisfied with it. A strong 74 percent of respondents rejected migration from outside the continent, and 65 percent were in favor of preserving Europe’s Christian culture.

Speaker of Parliament László Kövér was also speaking at the conference and said that political elites in western and central and eastern Europe had given different answers to the challenges of preserving a secure democracy on the continent.

He said that they agree that the rule of law and the welfare state are assets. But on the need to preserve the “steadiest cornerstones of our identity”, such as sexual, family, religious and national identity, they cannot see eye to eye, he added.

Cooperation of central and eastern European countries can strengthen the “democratic order” of the region, he said.