10 years after applying for membership and more than five years since the opening of negotiations, the majority of citizens continue to support EU membership, but at the same time they know very little about the accession process. In the referendum, less than half citizens would vote in favour. The assessment of the relations between Serbia and the EU, according to citizens’ opinion, is 2.68. Out of all the EU members, Greece and Germany are the biggest friends, the enemies are Croatia and Great Britain. In the region, we have the best relations with Hungary and BiH, and the worst with Croatia and Albania.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Institute for European Affairs in cooperation with Ninamedia Research House, conducted a public opinion survey on the European Union from 8th to 17th March 2019. The research was conducted on a representative sample of 1206 subjects. Topics of the research were: the relationship between Serbia and the European Union, support to membership, the benefit Serbia has from cooperation with the European Union, relations with individual Member States of the European Union.
The relations between Serbia and the EU received grade 3 by 43.1% of citizens, with score 2 given by 23.8%, and grade was given by 15% of citizens. 13.9% of respondents rated the relations with grade 4, while 5 was given by 4.1% respondents. On the scale from 1 to 5, the average assessment of the relationship between Serbia and the EU is 2.68. Higher average marks were given by women, young people under 30, citizens with high education and residents of the Western Serbia region with Sumadija.
53% of respondents support Serbia’s membership in the European Union, 40% have the opposite opinion, while 7% of them have not been able to make a statement on this issue. Most respondents who support Serbia’s EU membership are older than 60 years.
62% of the respondents believe that Serbia benefits from cooperation with the European Union (respondents aged between 30 and 45 and over 60 years old, as well as those with higher education levels), 30% think that Serbia does not benefit from cooperation with the EU, while 8% of them did not know how to make a statement on this issue.
27.1% of respondents think that Serbia’s biggest friend in the EU is Greece, slightly less mention Germany (25.7%), 11.6% do not know how to make a statement on this issue. 31% of respondents consider Croatia as the biggest enemy in the European Union, 28.7% say Great Britain, 14.9% Germany, while 19.3% do not know how to respond.
Of the interviewed, 22.5% think that from the neighboring countries, we have the best relations with Hungary, 21.7% lists BiH while Montenegro appears in 18.2% of cases. As the country with which we have the worst relations, 52.9% mentioned Croatia, while 31.9% said Albania.
When it comes to information about the European Union, 46% of citizens think that there is not enough information about the EU (mostly women, primary and secondary school respondents and residents of Eastern and Southern Serbia). Most respondents state that information about the EU is most often received from the Serbian Government through the media (29.3%). 19.5% of the respondents state schools and faculties as a source of information; and family and friends account for 16.2% through personal contact. Sources of information are for 15.5% non-governmental organisations (through the media), while the parliament is mentioned in 14.7% of cases as the most frequent source and way of gathering information on the topic of the EU.
If a referendum on Serbia’s membership in the European Union was announced tomorrow, 48% of respondents state that they would vote in favour (more residents of Western Serbia with Sumadija than other regions), 35% had the opposite stance (mostly Vojvodina residents), 9% would not while 8% do not know how to vote.
You can find the entire oppinion survey on the link here.