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Czech youth - patriotism and formation of european identity (2/2)

Support of incorporation of the Czech Republic into the European Union, 1 - minimum, 5 - maximum
Support of incorporation of the Czech Republic into the European Union, 1 - minimum, 5 - maximum

This is not only an overall attitude to the European Union and its enlargement. Partial attitudes and opinions, which as a whole create an overall attitude to the European Union, are also important. The following set contains statements covering the spectrum of opinions concerning the themes of the EU and Czech integration.

Do you agree with statements on importance of the European Union and consequences of our incorporation into the European Union?

The respondent gave his view by means of a five-grade scale [1].

  1. Job possibilities in the whole of Europe
  2. Easy travelling throughout Europe
  3. Feeling of European unity, European identity
  4. Growth of the standard of living
  5. Choice to live anywhere in Europe
  6. Mutual enrichment due to contacts with other cultures, nations, other people
  7. Larger scope and opportunity for our economy
  8. Danger to our economy from stronger western economies
  9. Danger to our agriculture from subsidised western agriculture and quotas
  10. Danger to our state sovereignty, hand-over of certain competencies outside of our elected and state bodies
  11. Contribution for science, which will have larger scope and possibilities
  12. New higher degree of social development. Formation of a new social reality - "Europeanism" on the basis of common history and ideas.
  13. Realisation of ideas of Czech thinkers, reformers, politicians (Jiřík z Poděbrad, J. A. Komenský, T.G.Masaryk)
  14. Danger to the national identity
  15. Larger space to make use of abilities and talent of Czech people
  16. Subordination to larger states, particularly to Germany
  17. Removal or weakening of negative phenomena in contemporary Czech society
  18. (corruption, tunnelling, operation of judiciary, political intolerance, poor political culture etc.)
  19. Possibility to study anywhere in Europe
  20. Strengthening of human rights
Consequences of integration of the Czech Republic into the EU
Consequences of integration of the Czech Republic into the EU

No considerable differences can be seen in understanding of the consequences of incorporation of the Czech Republic into the EU between young, middle and older generations. The young generation emphasises the possibility of "travelling", the possibility of "studying" and "working" in the EU countries a bit more. The middle and older generations reflect possible risks of integration more.

In the Czech Republic, opinions appear which set supporters of Czech incorporation into the EU against people strongly connected with the values of Czech society and culture. Patriotism and Europeanism are thus set against each other. The survey shows that this discrepancy does not exist actually.

The following chart shows the direct dependence between the value of the Czech statehood and incorporation into the EU. With the increasing importance of the Czech statehood the young generation shows a positive attitude to incorporation to the EU more strongly.

Dependence between the Czech statehood and incorporation into the EU, Youth 15 - 30
Dependence between the Czech statehood and incorporation into the EU, Youth 15 - 30

Similar dependence is clear between the meaning of the Czech statehood and the understanding of "the European identity formation" as a higher degree of social-historic processes taking place within the European social-cultural space.

Value of the Czech statehood and Europeanism, Youth 15 - 30
Value of the Czech statehood and Europeanism, Youth 15 - 30

With a growing value of the Czech statehood the respondents have a more positive attitude to higher social entities such as Europe and mankind.

Attitudes to social entities depending on the value of the Czech statehood, Youth 15- 30
Attitudes to social entities depending on the value of the Czech statehood, Youth  15- 30

As the previous chart shows the growth of a positive attitude to higher social entities depending on the growth of the Czech statehood value, the following table shows a similar dependence between the opinion that "Europeanism means a higher degree of development" and the attitude to higher social entities. The most distinctive supporters of this opinion also have the most positive attitude to the Czech nation, Czech state and mankind.

Dependence between Europeanism and attitude to higher social entities Youth 15-30
Higher degree of development "Europeanism" Czech nation Czech stateEurope Mankind
12.672.542.042.83
22.722.632.302.78
32.772.742.532.80
42.892.882.743.19
53.333.563.303.59

The results of the survey show accordance between Czech patriotism, European identity and understanding of Europeanism as a qualitatively new phase of development within the European socio-cultural space. The young generation's views concerning European integration are even more favourable than those of the older generations. They prefer, however, a rather particular side of the European process, such as easier travelling and job opportunities. The middle and older generations emphasise more the cultural and social dimension of the European process. Patriotism and the value of the Czech statehood on one side and the value of Europeanism increase for an individual with his level of education. With growing education the reflex of importance of the national culture and importance of Europeanism is increasing.

The results of the survey confirm that the process of social maturation contains the process of acquiring a social space. This acquisition is taking place in the direction from the most intimate and closest relations to wider and wider units. From the family, to the local community, to the region and nation up to the European identity. These are steps linked with each other gradually. In the process of social maturation, the social time-space to which an individual is concerned is expanding. The individual thinks, acts and plans within the social time-space to which the individual relates. The social time-space is expanding depending on the socio-cultural and educational level. Therefore it is logical that individuals who identify with the "European society", i.e. in other words whose social time-space contains the "European identity" identify with the Czech nation, culture and Czech statehood.

Finally the individual pieces of knowledge may be generalised in a simplified way by saying that identification with the family is a condition for future citizenship and Czech patriotism is a condition for future Europeanism. Europeanism and patriotism are not opposite attitudes but they are a partial expression of a more general social maturity and a social competence of an individual and evidence of a social time-space to which the individual relates as a social creature and in which he actually and potentially moves and acts.

Poznámky:
[1]Scale No. 2: Degrees of the scale were verbalized by the following way: 1 - definitely no, 2 - rather no, 3 - I don´t know, I cannot compare, 4 - rather yes, 5 - definitely yes
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