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Poll on citizens' views on Kosovo: What they would never vote for, what's acceptable

The survey was conducted by the Center for Social Dialogue and Regional Initiatives

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For the citizens of Serbia, the Kosovo issue is still very emotional, very painful and linked to the word treason - so recognizing Kosovo's independence is unacceptable to as many as 78.5 percent of them, shows a poll by the Center for Social Dialogue and Regional Initiatives presented at the Belgrade Security Forum last night.

Independence, according to the survey, would be accepted by only 12.4 percent of respondents.

Representative of the Center Nikola Jovic said that 58.2 percent of citizens also find as unacceptable an agreement by which Serbia would recognize Kosovo's independence in exchange for the setting up of the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO) and the extraterritoriality of monasteries. That possibility would be accepted by 20.4 percent of citizens.

An agreement under which Serbia would recognize Kosovo's independence along with a land swap is accepted by 15.8 percent of citizens, while the scenario under which Serbia would receive three municipalities in the north and Mitrovica as a district is supported by 18.9 percent of Serbian citizens.

Swapping the four municipalities in the north for Kosovo's independence is supported by 21.9 percent.

36.4 percent would agree to Serbia receiving the four municipalities in the north, the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO) in the south of Ibar and extraterritorial status of monasteries in return for recognition. 44.4 percent of citizens do not support this option.

A deal that would give Pristina a seat in the UN, minus Serbia's recognition in exchange for the ZSO is supported by 32.6 percent of those polled. 47.5 percent of respondents do not accept this proposal.

Milan Krstić, asistent FPN


The Center's Milan Krstic, who is also an assistant professor at the FPN, said during the panel discussion that the survey - which shows "what's in the hearts and what's on the minds of the citizens" of Serbia - was conducted under the auspices of the United States at the end of September on a representative sample at the level of the whole of Serbia, with 1,200 respondents and a margin of error of plus/minus 2.8 percent.

It was carried out in light of the dialogue that has been blocked for 11 months and of announcements that an agreement could be reached next year.

As he says, due to the large number of undecided respondents - 19.2 percent, there is one possible scenario where recognition of independence could receive some degree of support, namely if Serbia receives the four municipalities in the north, if the ZSO is formed south of the Ibar, and if extraterritorial status is given to monasteries - something that is supported by 36.4 percent of Serbia's citizens.


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