How does Central Europe look at current foreign policy issues and what do they expect about them for the future?
During July and August 2019, Visegrad Insight with the Association for International Affairs (AMO) and in cooperation with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and Slovak Foreign Policy Association carried out a survey among key actors of V4 countries’ foreign policies. Politicians, civil servants, journalists, researchers and business representatives answered questions concerning their perception of current foreign policy issues and their expectations about them for the future. The conclusions of the survey have brought us a unique insight into how different policymakers reflect upon various foreign policy phenomena.
More than 450 respondents from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland answered these and many other questions included in the survey carried out by AMO in July and August 2019.
Although the four countries are often perceived by outsiders as a cohesive, unified, often Eurosceptic actor, the Trends of Visegrád Foreign Policy 2019 survey shows that views in the Visegrád Group when it comes to most areas of foreign policy are not monolithic.
The results including visualizations, entire dataset and the paper summarizing some of the key takeaways are available on trendy.amo.cz.
- Germany and USA are regarded as the most important partners for all Visegrad countries.
- The mutual perception of importance among the Visegrad countries is strong, Perceptions of the overall quality of relations of the Visegrad countries to one another differ.
- Coordination in the EU is evaluated as the most successful area of Visegrad cooperation and also the one that is wished to grow the most in importance in the next 5 years.
- Membership of the European Union is seen to be almost unanimously beneficial in all Visegrad countries.
- The overwhelming majority expects climate and environmental issues, asylum and migration policy, the digital agenda, CFSP/CSDP, relations with the UK, and energy policy to gain more or somewhat more attention on the European agenda in the next five years. Most appear as priorities set out by Ursula von der Leyen.
- The Visegrad Group overall is not perceived as a concerted, constructive or especially influential actor in the European Union.
- There is no widespread appetite to immediately suspend sanctions against Russia. Visegrad stakeholders overwhelmingly think those should remain in place until Russia fully respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
- EU-US relations, but not bilateral ones, are expected to worsen in the field of economy and trade, while both EU and bilateral ties in security and defense are mostly foreseen to remain of the current quality.
- Visegrad stakeholders regard China’s actions as a threat to their country’s and the EU’s security.