A Survey released by Serbia’s Ministry of European Integration shows that only 43% of Serbs are now in favor of European Union membership, down 10% from the previous year. When asked, “Do you back Serbia’s EU membership?” only 43% responded favorably, while 32% opposed it. 13% would not vote on the issue, while 12% remain undecided.
The annual survey sampled 1,050 Serbian citizens over the age of 18. The Ministry conducted the survey on the European Orientation of Serbian Citizens in mid-December 2022. The Ministry nevertheless tried to put a positive spin on the results: “As in the previous years, citizens’ support for reforms remained high. Out of the total number of respondents, two-thirds (65 percent) believe that the reforms necessary for Serbia’s accession to the EU should be carried out all the same, for the benefit of citizens and for the purpose of creating a better and more regulated Serbia.”
The sharp downturn in support for European Union membership can likely be explained by a combination of factors, including the bloc’s dictatorial stance concerning Kosovo and its aggressive escalation of the war in Ukraine, positions with which the vast majority of Serbians do not concur. The survey also pointed out that “for 13 percent of respondents, it also represents the risk of losing their own cultural identity.”
Minister of European Integration Tanja Miščević tried to downplay the results of the survey, going so far as to make the ridiculous assertion to the media that her Ministry has no information about such a drop.
“We have just completed the latest public opinion poll, which was conducted in the second half of December,” Miščević told the press, “and the percentage of those who answered in favor of Serbia’s membership on the referendum question is 43 percent. “We have never had huge support for the integration process, in the best periods, it is around 60 or 62 percent, and there has never been more than 30 percent of those who are against it.”
The press release issued by Serbia’s Ministry of European Integration announcing the results of the survey can be found here.