Hungary is scheduled to take over the rotating presidency of the European Union starting in January 2011. Along with the public opinion research company Median, Policy Solutions took the opportunity to explore both, the public's view of the future Hungarian presidency and EU membership in general. While Hungarians may be slightly more sceptical towards the Union than a couple of years ago, overall they remain supportive of membership and optimistic about its possibilities.
The most obvious question to ask was how many people were even aware of Hungary's impending presidency. The result was a good reflection of our general assumptions, namely that people do not follow EU related news and are often unaware even of events that significantly impact Hungary. For the most part, the press respects this lack of interest and contributes to it, too, both by failing to report about the goings-on in Brussels. Nevertheless, even with such an expectation in mind it was somewhat surprising to find that a majority of Hungarians was not even aware of this rare and important opportunity (and massive substantive and logistical challenge).
Policy Solutions' analysis on the popular attitudes towards the EU ahead of Hungary's 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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