Balkan citizens still support EU integration

The majority of Western Balkan citizens support their countries’ aspirations to join the EU, according to the latest Gallup poll.

In Serbia, 58 percent of the population supports EU integration, down two percent on 2006, according to Deutsche Welle.

According to Gallup, Serbia citizens have a positive view of EU membership, but are mostly negative towards the work of the Hague Tribunal and the EU’s role in that process.

Some Serbian citizens believe that the Tribunal is only inflaming old conflicts, and that the main problem with the EU is that its member-states are blocking Serbia’s EU integration as a result, Gallup analysts say.

Kosovo is the biggest supporter of EU integration at 89 percent, with Kosovo Albanians believing that the EU had an active role in their unilateral independence process. However, only 23 percent of Kosovo Serbs support EU integration.

Support for the EU has fallen by 18 percent in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where now only 58 percent of the population supports integration. They are also very pessimistic about when Bosnia will be asked to join, and most do not see it happening before 2020.

This pessimism is the result of internal politics, Gallup notes.

“People have a negative attitude towards the political situation in the country and those feelings are reflected in their opinion of EU membership,” Gallup states.

Only 16 percent of Republic of Srpska citizens view the EU as friendly.

“This is a question of identity, especially in the RS. Some of its citizens believe that they should be autonomous and also identify more with Serbia, which itself is at odds with the EU on the issues of Kosovo and the Hague Tribunal. This is pushing Bosnian Serbs away from the EU,” Gallup officials observe.

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