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47% of Citizens support Serbian Membership to the EU

BELGRADE – If the referendum were to be held tomorrow with question “Do you support Serbian membership in the EU?”, 47% of the Serbian citizens would be in favor, 29% would be against, 15% would not vote, and 9% would not know what to answer. These are the results of the last public opinion poll called “European Orientation of Serbian Citizens” which was conducted by Serbian European Integration Office in December 2016. The poll was carried out in compliance with the Eurobarometer standard, and 1,054 respondents older than 18 took part in it.

Support for the reforms, as in previous years, is high. 64% of the examinees are of the opinion that the reforms necessary for the EU accession of our country should be implemented even if they had not been a precondition for Serbian membership in the EU, but merely for the wellbeing of the citizens themselves, or to achieve a better regulated Serbian state, stated the European Integration Office of the Republic of Serbia.

Public health system reform (16%), fight against corruption (16%), judiciary reform (14%), agricultural reform (10%) and public education reform (10%) citizens consider as the most important reforms which have the main influence on their everyday life. After this reforms the next are better consumer protection (8%), as well as protection of human rights (6%) and the protection of environment (6%).

Majority of the citizens, 58%, was of the opinion that the problems between Belgrade and Pristina should be resolved, regardless of whether the EU demanded it. More than a half of the examinees support the commitment of the Government of the Republic of Serbia for the continuation of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and its readiness to come to viable solutions through cooperation and dialogue.

35% of respondents said that the EU membership would be a good thing in their opinion, while 31% of citizens considered it to be a bad thing and 34 percent were indifferent towards this issue. However, for the majority of the citizens interviewed, Serbian EU membership was still representing more opportunities for employment (17 percent), road towards the better future for the young people (16%), an opportunity for freer movement within the EU borders (15 percent), as well as the chance to improve situation in the country (11%).

When talking about the development grant aid, lack of citizens’ awareness especially reflects in the percentage of interviewees – 25 % of them, who believe that Russia is the main donor to Serbia over the last 16 years, which is not based on the data. According to the official data, in the period 2000-2015, the European Union and its member states have been the biggest Serbian donors with grants worth more than 2.7 billion of Euros, owing to which they have significantly contributed to Serbian development. 21% of citizens correctly recognized that the biggest donor is the EU, while the same percentage of interviewees thinks it is China. In the fourth place there is Japan that was recognized as the biggest donor by 11% of the respondents.

Opinion poll can be downloaded here.

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