Czech trust in world leaders falls: Macron, Čaputová outperform Biden, Zelenskyy

A new survey shows that trust in Volodymyr Zelenskyy has dropped, while Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán is more trusted than US President Biden. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 19.12.2023 10:14:00 (updated on 19.12.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

A new survey from the Center for Public Opinion Research (CVVM) shows that Czech citizens' confidence in foreign leaders has dwindled, with public trust in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dipping significantly.

US and Ukraine leaders perform poorly

Perhaps surprisingly – despite Czechia’s ardent support of Ukraine since February 2022 – the majority of Czechs (62 percent) do not trust Zelenskyy. This is in stark contrast to last spring, when his levels of public trust among Czechs was 30 percentage points higher.

U.S. President Joe Biden is also viewed with suspicion by the majority of Czechs – he is distrusted by six in 10 – despite the U.S. being Czechia’s close ally. Similar to the case of Zelenskyy, Biden’s perceived trustworthiness has declined since last spring – falling 12 percent.

Exactly half of Czechs don’t have trust in Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meaning he still scores lower levels of distrust in the survey than the likes of Zelenskyy and Biden. Similar is true of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who is not trusted by 44 percent of all Czechs.

Putin and Lukashenko the least-trusted

Unsurprisingly, Russian President Vladimir Putin faces the highest amount of suspicion – over eight in 10 Czechs do not trust him.

Which foreign leaders do Czechs distrust the most?

  • 1.Vladimir Putin (82 percent)
  • 2.Aleksandr Lukashenko (75 percent)
  • 3.Volodymyr Zelenskyy (62 percent)
  • 4.Joe Biden (62 percent)
  • 5.Recep Tayyip Erdogan (50 percent)

Of other leaders, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko also scored poorly in securing levels of public trust, with exactly three-quarters of the Czech public viewing him with suspicion. 

EU and NATO leaders also performed poorly. Over four in 10 Czechs distrust European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and just 17 percent of respondents said they had faith in NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

Čaputová, Macron on top, but now less trusted

Out of all foreign leaders, Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová is the Czech public’s most-trusted figure, with a confidence level of over half (52 percent). 

French President Emmanuel Macron performed reasonably well in the survey, and was Czechia’s second-most-trusted foreign leader after Čaputová, with one-third of respondents saying they trust him. Despite this, levels of distrust in both leaders rose significantly – by 18 and 17 percentage points respectively.

In response to the findings, a representative from CVVM stated: "The results depict a clear trend of diminishing trust across global political figures, evident in the shift toward increased distrust or decreased trust levels among those surveyed."

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