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If referendum on Serbia's EU membership were held tomorrow - this is how Serbians would vote

A field survey of 1,050 respondents over the age of 18 was conducted according to the Eurobarometer standard

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If a referendum were to be held tomorrow, asking "Do you support Serbia's EU membership?" - 53 percent of Serbian citizens would vote "yes," 25 percent would vote "no," while 10 percent would not vote at all.

A further 12 percent said they do not know how they would answer this question.

This is the result of the latest opinion poll, entitled, "The European orientation of Serbian citizens," conducted by the Ministry of European Integration in early July.

The field survey, involving 1,050 respondents over the age of 18, was conducted according to the Eurobarometer standard.

Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic says that this survey also shows stable support for European integration, considering that in June and December 2018 the answer (55 percent) to the question, "Would you support Serbia's EU accession in a referendum?," was almost identical to the results in the latest poll.

She assessed that stable and majority support of citizens to the European integration process and our country's path towards EU membership has been contributed to by promotion, and the systematic work on reforms, regional development policy, sustainable development, and good planning and preparation for the use of European funds, cross-border cooperation...

Kajl Skat, Jadranka Joksimović

Photo: Tanjug/Zoran Zestic

Citizens' support for reforms is, as in previous years, very high. Out of the total number of respondents, 68 percent believe that reforms necessary for our country's accession to the EU should be implemented regardless, for the benefit of the citizens and in order to create a better and more orderly Serbia.

Respondents see the fight against corruption (20 percent) as the most significant way the reforms have impact on their everyday lives. The health system reform is at 16 percent, while better human rights protection at 13 percent are next in importance to the citizens, according to the survey.

When it comes to development grants given to Serbia from 2000 until today, 23 percent of respondents recognized that the EU is the largest donor to our country. According to the citizens' perception, China is ranked second with 22 percent, Russia with 20 percent and Japan with 9 percent.

One in three citizen of Serbia has heard of an EU-funded project, most notably from the environmental (17 percent) and healthcare (13 percent) sectors.

Official figures show that the EU and its member-states have been the biggest donors from 2000 until the end of 2016 with 4.31 billion euros in grants, contributing significantly to Serbia's development - individually the European Commission donated 2.96 billion, Germany 368.21 million, Sweden 232.11 million and Italy 187.72 million.

Ana Brnabic , sastanak sa Federikom Mogerini

Photo: PM's media team

Minister Joksimovic recalled that since 2007, when it started using IPA funds, Serbia has been a leader in the region in terms of the utilization of the funds, mostly grants, which is very commendable, but also a great obligation for us - to continue to be successful, above all in order to improve everyday lives of the citizens.

Speaking about IPA 2018, the minister said that these funds had already been programmed and amount to EUR 179.1 million in grants.

They will help implement reforms, especially in the area of the ​​rule of law, advance projects in the areas of environmental protection, tourism infrastructure, sustainable development through innovation, as well as employment of disadvantaged groups and housing of the vulnerable population.

Joksimovic added that it is important that pre-accession funds be used efficiently and effectively, and that, once it becomes a member of the EU, Serbia would use cohesion funds, which are much bigger, in the right way.

Most citizens (59 percent) believe that Belgrade and Pristina's problems should be solved regardless of whether the EU is demanding it, i.e., more than half of respondents support the government's commitment to continue the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and the readiness to reach sustainable solutions.

51 percent of respondents think EU membership would be beneficial for Serbia (43 pecent said "useful" and 8 percent "very useful"). For example, the citizens associate the notion of the EU with greater employment and travel opportunities, a better future for young people, a more orderly society, a better life and a higher standard of living in our country, the ministry said in a press release.

(Telegraf.rs)

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