In Serbia, 49% of citizens would support Serbia joining the EU on a referendum, representing a five percentage point increase compared to the previous survey from December, stated the European Integration Office of the Government of the Republic of Serbia on 10 July. The regular survey, implemented in June, also showed a slight increase in the number of citizens against membership, and a drop in the number of undecided and abstaining citizens. According to citizen perception, EU and Russia are the largest donors regarding development assistance grants to Serbia given since 2000, even though the EU and its members provided the most funds. This, however, indicates a certain change in perception, since Russia had a considerable lead regarding development assistance grants to Serbia in previous surveys according to the citizens.
The European Integration Office notice states that if a referendum asking “Do you support Serbia joining the EU?” was held tomorrow, 49% of the citizens would vote in favour, 28% would vote against, 17% would not vote at all, while 6% do not know what to answer. As noted, the number of citizens supporting the accession of Serbia to the EU is greater by five percentage points compared to the survey implemented in mid-December of last year, when 44% of the citizens said they would support membership.
An increase is also noted in the number of citizens believing the policy of conditions and blackmail the EU is using with Serbia is the greatest obstacle for progress. In June, 46% of the citizens thought so, while six months earlier such an opinion was held by 36% of the citizens. Objective obstacles, i.e. the implementation of large-scale reforms in all areas was listed by 4% of the citizens as an obstacle, similar as in December.
The respondents say that EU membership would be a good thing for 37% of them, 29% believe it is bad, and 34% believe it is neither good nor bad. For most citizens, 17% of them, EU membership represents a road towards a better future for young people, more employment opportunities (16%), as well as the possibility of increased mobility within the EU borders (12%).
Citizen support to reforms is, just like during previous years, very high, and a considerable number of citizens supports the dialog of Belgrade and Priština on the normalization of relations, the public opinion survey “European Orientation of the Citizens of Serbia“ shows.
The Office release notes that the largest percentage of citizens, 66%, believe the problems of Belgrade and Priština should be resolved independently of whether the EU requires this, i.e. two thirds of the respondents supports the commitment of the Government of Serbia to continue the dialogue between Belgrade and Priština and the readiness to reach sustainable solutions through dialogue.
According to the survey implemented by the European Integration Office in mid-June in accordance with the Eurobarometer European survey standards, 71% believe that the reforms required for Serbia’s accession to the EU should be implemented regardless, for the benefit of citizens and an improved organization of the country, the notice states.
Combating corruption and judicial reforms are placed by 20% of the citizens among the key reforms with the most impact on their daily lives, followed by the healthcare system reform with 13%. This is followed by the educational system reform (8%), agriculture, improved human rights protection and consumer protection (7% each), shows the survey involving 1,012 respondents aged over 18.
The European Integration Office has been regularly implementing public opinion surveys since 2002 in order to gain an overview of citizen assessments of what their interests are in the process of accession to the European Union and how they see the future expected for themselves and their family.