Support for the acceptance of refugees from Ukraine in Slovakia is gradually decreasing
The war in Ukraine is entering its second year. The first months of the war conflict were associated with the strong solidarity of the Slovak population towards people fleeing Ukraine, which was confirmed by several public opinion surveys from the spring of 2022. During the past year, the Institute of Social Sciences of the Centre of Social and Psychological Sciences SAS (SVÚ CSPV SAV) was also involved in the mapping of these attitudes. The results of the comparative survey from March 2022 and December of the same year show a slight decrease in support for the acceptance of refugees from Ukraine in society.
The fact that the perception of people coming from Ukraine to Slovakia is deteriorating was already pointed out by a September survey by the Globsec Institute through the Focus agency. According to the results, up to 52% of Slovaks perceived the presence of Ukrainian refugees negatively. Among the V4 countries, our perception of refugees was the worst. According to the survey, one of the key factors in these attitudes was concern about the worsening of the economic situation in Slovakia.
This trend was also confirmed by the December survey of the SVÚ CSPV SAV, which repeated its findings from March 2022. "We addressed the respondents with several questions in both months. For example, we were interested in whether, according to them, Ukrainian men and women who came to live in Slovakia should have the same rights as everyone else. While in March, approximately 15% of respondents expressed their disagreement with this question, in December, one in four respondents disagreed. And the number of those who chose the answer "strongly disagree" has almost doubled," explains psychologist Jana Papcunová from SVÚ CSPV SAV.
The number of strongly disagreeing respondents almost doubled compared to March 2022, also when asking whether every refugee should have the right to apply for asylum in Slovakia without any annual limits.
Results of the SVÚ CSPV SAV survey point to the decreasing level of support of Slovaks towards emigrants and refugees from Ukraine. "One of the factors can be the worsening economic situation, price increases or unceasing disinformation efforts, which can lead to the polarization of society, the disruption of social cohesion between communities, and the rise of hate speech against vulnerable groups.," explains the scientist.
The research was carried out within the project APVV-20-0319: Behavioural aspects of COVID-19: Mapping the covid-related behaviours and psychological, social, and economic consequences of the pandemic. A complete overview of current public opinion surveys of Slovaks regarding the acceptance of Ukrainians in Slovakia, prepared by J. Papcunová, is available on the SAS website: