Czech Society Divided on Attitude towards Refugees

The support for Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic has remained relatively stable in recent months, with approximately half of the population endorsing their presence. According to a survey conducted by STEM, two-fifths of respondents believe that refugees should be allowed to stay in the Czech Republic even after the war ends. However, there has been a growing polarization of opinions, with a portion of the population expressing opposition towards refugees.

While 56% of people agreed with the presence of refugees in June, this number decreased to 51% in September. Nevertheless, the proportion of those who believe that Ukrainian refugees should be allowed to stay in the country even after the war remains around 40%.

The perception of Ukrainian refugees varies among the Czech population. While 27% of individuals see them as a benefit to society, 55% consider them a potential threat. Interestingly, supporters of the ruling coalition parties are more inclined towards refugees, with 80% expressing support, whereas opposition supporters and non-parliamentary groups generally do not endorse the presence of refugees.

The study also revealed that most respondents (54%) reported that their attitude towards refugees has not changed, while 42% mentioned worsening their stance. The Czech society consistently attributes responsibility for the conflict to Russia, as indicated by 65% of respondents.

Moreover, three-quarters (73%) of the participants did not perceive any personal change in their situation due to the arrival of refugees, considering it either neutral or unaffected. On the other hand, a quarter of respondents acknowledged a negative impact.

In a poll, 78.8% of respondents reported a deterioration in their attitude towards Ukrainian refugees over time, while only 1.4% stated an improvement. The remaining 19.8% said their stance remained unchanged. 3,495 readers completed the survey.

According to STEM, more than half of those who strongly oppose the presence of Ukrainian refugees believe that their arrival has hurt their own lives. The most frequently mentioned negative impacts relate to the availability of places in kindergartens and schools, housing, and a perceived increase in criminality.

The majority of people saw the encounters with refugees as neutral (38%), while 23% reported predominantly positive experiences, and 18% expressed negative encounters. Approximately one-fifth of respondents (21%) have had no personal experience with refugees.

The survey was conducted in June and September, with over 1,000 respondents participating in each round.