A public opinion survey project conducted jointly by Policy Solutions and Medián shows that Hungary’s term at the helm of Europe had little effect on the popular perception of the EU. Though most citizens have heard about Hungary’s position as the rotating leader of the Union, they know little about the details of the presidency and (rightly) perceive that little has changed on account of Hungary having held this office. Even considering how difficult it is to convey the relative merits or failures of a mostly public policy-based agenda, it is tempting to feel disappointed by the minor positive impact Hungary’s most important international position since letting East German refugees leave in 1989 has had on both the country’s international perception and its own perception of the European Union.
The results of a joint research project by Policy Solutions and Medián, conducted during the final month of the rotating presidency of the European Union, reveal that towards the end of the presidency 80% of respondents knew off the top of their head that Hungary was holding this position in the first half of 2011. Though the news concerning the EU presidency did not reach everyone, they were by no means ineffectual: the two institutes’ joint study in December 2010 had revealed that only 45% knew what role Hungary was to play in the Union over the following months.
The results of the Policy Solutions-Median public opinion poll on the EU Presidency can be downloaded from here.
Policy Solutions is a progressive political research institute based in Budapest. It was founded in 2008 and it is committed to the values of liberal democracy, solidarity, equal opportunity and European integration. The focus of Policy Solutions’ work is on understanding political processes in Hungary and the European Union. Among the pre-eminent areas of our research are the investigation of how the quality of democracy evolves, the analysis of factors driving euroscepticism, populism and the far-right, and election research.
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