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Nézőpont Poll: Most Neighboring Countries See Hungary in a Positive Light

By Fanni Kaszás // 2018.03.01.

Citizens of neighboring countries generally have a positive opinion of Hungary, according to a recent survey by Nézőpont Institute, conducted annually for a Central-European non-governmental organization, the Charta XXI Reconciliation Movement. The poll also showed that Hungarian respondents have a similarly positive opinion of other countries in Central Europe.

Six countries out of the total eight examined have a mainly positive perception of Hungary. On average, 63% of respondents in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria had a favorable view of Hungary. The most positive views were from Bulgaria (85%); the least were in Romania, where only 57% had a positive view of Hungary, while 39% had a negative view, the highest of any country surveyed.

Opinion of the neighboring countries (photo: Nézőpont Institute)

Hungarians had the most positive opinions of Austria (73%), Croatia (68%), Slovakia (58%) and Slovenia (57%). In case of Romania and Serbia, positive and negative shared an almost similar percentage: 35% of Hungarian respondents saw Romania in a positive light, while 37% were negative; these figures were 32- and 29% respectively with regards to Serbia. Overall, Hungarians had the lowest opinions of Ukraine, where only 23% responded positively and 43% negatively.

Hungarian’s opinion on neighboring countries. (photo: Nézőpont Institute)

Hungarian respondents saw bilateral ties with neighboring countries in a positive light, with the exception of Ukraine. They were especially satisfied with ties with Croatia (68%) and Austria (67%), while 38% of respondents were negative about the bilateral relationship with Ukraine.

Nézőpont added that positive views of Ukraine have dropped by 8 percentage points and the bilateral ties dropped 18 percentage points over the past year, noting Ukraine’s education law and recent attacks against members of Ukraine’s Hungarian community, particularly Tuesday’s Molotov cocktail attack against the headquarters of ethnic Hungarian cultural association KMKSZ in Uzhhorod (Ungvár), in western Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region, the second of its kind in a month.

Nézőpont has conducted a survey on the opinions of  Hungarians on neighboring countries and their bilateral relations with them annually since 2016 for the Charta XXI Reconciliation Movement. This year’s poll was made on the basis of a telephone public opinion poll between 8 and 11 January 2018 in Hungary and between 18 January and 13 February in the eight Central European countries by asking 1000 respondents in each country.

via MTI