European Western Balkans

Eurobarometer survey: Trust in the EU varies across the Western Balkans

European Commission; Photo: European Union

BRUSSELS – The trust in the European Union is still higher in the majority of Western Balkan countries than the EU itself, while, with the exception of Serbia, more than 50% of people in the region believe membership in the EU would be a good thing.

These are some of the results of the Spring Eurobarometer 2023 survey, conducted in May and June in the EU and other countries on the continent.

Trust in the EU in Kosovo is 63%. These results are followed by Bosnia and Herzegovina, where it is 57%, and Montenegro, where it is 54%. In North Macedonia, 48% people tend to trust the EU, compared to 46% who tend not to. In Serbia, only 32% of people tend to trust the EU, while 61% do not.

The average score in the EU itself is 47% who tend to trust and 45% who tend not to trust it, meaning that the results in the Western Balkans, with the exception of Serbia, are still higher than those in the EU.

When it comes to the feeling of attachment to the EU, 55% of the citizens of North Macedonia feel attached to the Union, while 43% do not. This is close to the average score on the level of EU, which is 58% for those who feel attachment and 40% for those who do not.

In Kosovo, these percentages are 52 for those attached and 42 for those who are not. In other countries of the region, the feeling of attachment is lower than 50% – 49% in Montenegro, 41% in Bosnia and Herzegovina and only 23% in Serbia.

When asked whether EU membership would be a good thing, 65% of citizens of Kosovo say it would, an increase of 1% from the previous Eurobarometer survey in January. In Montenegro, 63% of citizens say it would be a good thing, an increase of 5% since January.

In Bosna and Herzegovina, 60% of citizens believe that EU membership would be a good thing (previous data are not available), while in North Macedonia this percentage is 58%, a drop of 2% since January.

In Serbia, only 31% of citizens say that the EU membership would be a good thing (a drop from 34% in January); 36% believe it would be neither a good nor a bad thing, while 32% believe it would be a bad thing.

When it comes to the economic situation, citizens of Montenegro and Kosovo have the most positive assessments – 56% in Montenegro and 55% in Kosovo describe the economy as good. In Serbia, 34% of citizens say the same, while in Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia the situation is even worse – 26% and 21%, respectively.

In the EU, 40% of citizens on average say that the situation of their country’s economy is good, while 58% say it is bad.

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