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Most citizens find Visegrád cooperation beneficial, survey finds

A recent survey found that most people living in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia (collectively known as the Visegrád Group or the V4), are happy with tighter cooperation, and they also tend to agree on key issues such as immigration or the way Western Europe treats the region.

The Nézőpont Institute carried out the survey of the four Central and East European countries to find out how strong the so-called "V4" identity is. The analysis further sought to assess the V4 countriesʼ relations to other countries and major powers, the image of joint representation of interests within the European Union, and the issue of immigration.

A high portion of respondents (84%) had heard of the Visegrád Group and the majority also consider it important. Nearly two-thirds think that their own country can better represent its interests in the European Union within the V4.

In terms of issues to be tackled, the sentiment is widely shared that cooperation should be tightened in the area of immigration. Priority is also given by citizens to interstate cooperation on economic matters and the harmonization of industrial policies. Residents of the Visegrád Group countries would like to see tighter political relations, not only with fellow V4 states, but also with those outside the alliance.

Not much positivity was expressed towards the way the wealthier part of the continent treats the CEE region. On average, 73% of respondents said West European countries apply double standards against the V4 member states. In Hungary, that figure was somewhat lower at 68%; by contrast, in Slovakia it was 79%.

As far as immigration is concerned, the vast majority, that is 81% of all respondents, expressed dissatisfaction with the way the European Union addresses the problem. In total, 73% said they are against the idea that asylum seekers arriving in Europe should be distributed based on the quota system. The Hungarian fence, in turn, enjoys full support across the V4, with 73% of respondents agreeing with its construction.

The survey also examined neighborly Visegrád relations. It turned out that Slovakians have the best opinion of their neighbors. Hungary had a middling assessment on the likability issue: 62% of residents of the three other countries of the V4 like the country, while 19% have a negative opinion of it, or cannot decide regarding the question. Perhaps surprisingly, Slovakians liked Hungary the most, with 72% having a positive opinion of the country.