CEAS poll: Many Serbs dislike the EU, but still want to join

July 30, 2014

ceas_belgradePublisher: Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies, Serbia

About 43 percent of Serbs hold an unfavorable view of the European Union, but a slim majority of the country’s citizens nevertheless support having Serbia join the union, according to the results of a Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies (CEAS) poll.

Only 26 percent of Serbs hold a favorable view of the EU, the survey showed. Despite the strong dislike for the EU, 53 percent of those surveyed said they support EU membership for Serbia, according the poll, which was conducted as part of Advocacy for Open Government, an EU-funded PASOS project to encourage governments in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia to become more transparent.

The polling also showed that 53 percent of Serbs have a favorable view of Russia. The United States and NATO fared worse than the EU, with 66 percent of Serbs holding an unfavorable view of the United States, and 82 percent disapproving of NATO.

The poll also covered such topics as trust in Serbian leaders and institutions, whether the country is headed in right direction, attitudes towards transparency and openness, knowledge about and use of e-government tools, and levels of participation in public protests.

The survey, which was conducted June 20-27, 2014, included these findings:

  • Half of the citizens of Serbia believes that the country is headed in the right direction, while one third believes the contrary.
  • Nearly half of the respondents said that unemployment in the most important issue facing Serbia.
  • The vast majority of Serbian citizens is committed to transparency and openness of the state. However, they believe that public officials who disclose confidential information should be punished for such acts.
  • A majority of Serbian citizens think that lobbying is bad for society.

A full report that details these and other survey results can be downloaded here.

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