In the new EU members of Central Europe, a lack of public confidence in current political
elites has resulted in turning citizens away from engagement in public debate, while the
winners and losers of transition are increasingly evident in a widening socio-economic
divide. In three of the Visegrad Four countries, a majority recognise more advantages and
opportunities in democracies today than under the pre-1989 dictatorial regimes, but there
is an urgent need to win over a reticent public to support the transfer of democratic knowhow
to the EU’s eastern neighbours and other countries.