What do Austrians think of Hungary?
ÖGfE survey: EU and democratic values - What unites and divides Hungarians and Austrians
On April 8, Hungary will elect a new parliament. A date that is not unimportant even for Austria. The two countries traditionally have close ties that have become even more important through EU membership, even if their political positions are quite different. Two current surveys give an insight into how Hungarians and Austrians feel about the EU and democratic values.
The Membership in the EU is undisputed in both countries: 77 percent of Austrians and even 84 percent of Hungarians are in favor of their country remaining a member of the EU. Only 15 percent of the Austrian and 9 percent of the Hungarian respondents advocate leaving the EU (remainder to 100 percent = “don't know / no answer” (wnk.).
47 percent of Hungarians and 29 percent of Austrians are of the opinion that the EU in political discussion is portrayed “too negatively” in one's own country. 32 percent of the Austrian respondents, but only 8 percent of the Hungarians say that the portrayal of the EU would be “too positive”. 29 percent each consider it fair (remainder = wnk.)
In both countries, a majority agree that the EU often used by domestic politicians as scapegoat is used to distract from one's own weaknesses. In Hungary there are more than two thirds (69 percent) who “completely” or “somewhat” hold this view in Austria more than half (57 percent). 23 percent of Hungarians agree with this opinion “not really” or “not at all”, in Austria it is 36 percent (remainder = wnk.)
The majority of Hungarians and Austrians say that the Union plays a very or rather positive role mutual understanding and cooperation between member states concerns. In Austria it's a total of 62 percent, in Hungary 67 percent.
86 percent of Austrians and 65 percent of Hungarians believe that their country plays a very or rather positive role in terms of solidarity with other EU members. 11 percent of the Austrian and 28 percent of the Hungarian respondents see it differently (remainder = wnk.).
A gap between the views of the Citizens and those of the political Elites is noticed in both countries - in Hungary by 74 percent (“completely” or “somewhat”), in Austria by a total of 61 percent. The desire for a “strong man in politics” is just as pronounced, although this is much more true for Hungary than for Austria. The acceptance for this description in this country is 58 percent (32 percent: "is very important to me" | 26 percent: "is more important to me"), in Hungary however, at 88 percent (53 percent: "very important" | 35 percent: "rather important").
Be at the same time "Democracy and Human Rights" almost unanimously considered important by respondents in both countries - in Austria (83 percent "very important" | 16 percent "rather important") more often than in Neighboring country (70 percent: "very important" | 24 percent "rather important"). The same goes for one independent judiciarywho have favourited 82 percent of the Austrians for "very important" and 15 percent consider it "rather important", while for them Hungarians the value is slightly different (68 percent: "very important" | 24 percent: "rather important"). Independent media and civil society 66 percent of Austrians consider it "very important" and 29 percent "rather important", in Hungary it is slightly less (59 percent "very important" | 26 percent "rather important").
Sources: Telephone surveys, representative of the population aged 18 and over / weighted according to gender, age and education.
Austria: Social Science Study Society (SWS) on behalf of the ÖGfE, Tel SWS 268, 16.11. until December 5, 2017, N = 512.
Hungary: Závecz Research on behalf of the Center for European Neighborhood Studies, Central European University Budapest, December 18-22, 2017, N = 500.
Maximum fluctuation range approx. +/- 4.3 percent.
The surveys were made as part of the project "Anti EU rhetoric versus own national interests? National populism and its reception in Central Europe ” carried out as part of the Europe for Citizens program of the European Union.
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