Poll: 54 percent support EU membership

A majority of Serbian citizens would vote in favor of their country's membership in the EU in a referendum, according to a new survey.

Source: Beta
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The survey was commissioned by the Beta news agency and conducted by Ipsos Strategic Marketing.

"Since the end of 2012 we have an upward trend, today we have more people than a year or a year and a half ago supporting entry into the EU," said representative of Ipsos Strategic Marketing Predrag Kurčubić.

If a referendum on this issue were called now, 54 percent would vote in favor. Beta said in its report that "29 percent would definitely vote in favor, 26 percent likely, while 19 percent would be certainly against, and eight percent would probably say 'no'."

The survey's results were presented on Tuesday in Belgrade. It was conducted February 22-27 on a representative sample larger than 1,000 respondents.

Beta news agency editor-in-chief Ivan Cvejić said that the agency as part of the Argus project would give to the media even more analytical materials on the negotiations on Serbia's membership in the EU, especially on chapters 23 and 24, the judiciary and the rule of law and human rights, which, as noted, will require fundamental changes in society.

The stance towards EU membership "is somewhat at odds with the opinion of citizens on international institutions and countries, considering that 27 percent said they had a positive opinion about the EU," the presentation also heard.

The fact that twice as many respondents supported Serbia's entry into the organization made Kurčubić conclude that Serbians "expect certain benefits from the EU, would be ready to support it because they expect something positive to happen."

21 percent said they believed Serbia will never join the EU, 35 percent think it will happen by 2020, and 19 percent that it will take place after that date.

73 percent of respondents said that Serbia will during the negotiations face greater challenges than other countries in the region that have joined the EU, while 18 percent think it will have the same treatment. Nine percent did not know the answer to that question.

Kosovo is a requirement about whose importance for EU entry the greatest number of citizens agree, Beta said, adding that this number is "about one in three, while all others are below 10 percent."

Those who took part in the poll believe that the next country from the region to join the EU will be Montenegro (38 percent), and 23 percent thought it will be Serbia.

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