ETH study – Neutrality at all-time high

ETH study – Neutrality at all-time high

rt. As every year, the ETH Zurich study “Security 2019”, published in May, records the current attitudes of Swiss citizens in a representative survey of 1,213 voters in the major language regions of the country. Despite many current events and changes in the general political climate at national and international level (trade conflict between China and the USA, EU Framework Agreements, etc.), the survey results are stable compared with previous years. Some results are briefly presented below:

  • The near future of Switzerland is viewed optimistically by 86% of those surveyed. The overall good economic situation and confidence in the country’s political system (with direct democracy, the Federal Council, a good education system, well-developed social systems and Swiss neutrality) play a key role.
  • Trust in authorities and institutions has increased slightly in relation to the 8 institutions surveyed (police, courts, Federal Council, economy, parliament, army, media and political parties) in the above list.
  • According to the editors Dr Tibor Szvircsev Tresch (Military Academy MILAK) and Professor Dr Andreas Wenger (Center for Security Studies), the advocacy of neutrality is at an “all-time high” with 96% approval. This is linked to the provision of good services and mediation in international conflicts (94%). For 85%, neutrality is inextricably linked to the Swiss idea of the state, and 64% see neutrality as a reason why Switzerland is not drawn into international conflicts. However, since 2017 the interviewees have been divided as to whether neutrality can still be credibly protected militarily.
  • The global foreign and security situation is viewed more critically than in 2018. A total of 73 % of respondents are pessimistic about the situation. The fear of the current power politics of the major powers USA, Russia and China, but also of Turkey and North Korea, plays a role in this assessment. US President Trump is often cited as the reason.
  • On the other hand, relations between Switzerland and the USA are viewed more positively than before.
  • Four fifths of those surveyed still see the need for the army. The militia army is clearly in favour of a professional army.
  • A rapprochement with the EU is only seen positively in economic terms (85%), while political rapprochement is hardly desired any more (35%).

All in all, a stable and conscious understanding of the state among the interviewees also shows itself over the years of the surveys of the “Security” study series.

Source: www.css.ethz.ch/content/dam/ethz/special-interest/gess/cis/center-for-securities-studies/pdfs/Si2019

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