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Serbia: Support for EU membership 'hits all-time low'

ultimo aggiornamento: 14 gennaio, ore 19:37
Serbian citizens's support for joining the European Union has for the first time fallen below sixty percent, the lowest-ever level, a senior government official said on Friday.


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Belgrade, 14 Jan. (AKI) – Serbian citizens's support for joining the European Union has for the first time fallen below sixty percent, the lowest-ever level, a senior government official said on Friday.

Milica Delevic, director of government’s office for EU integration said a survey conducted by her agency showed that support for EU membership had continued decline and in December stood at 57 percent.

“The lower support for EU integration is not surprising and reflects the trend in the countries of the region which are closer to EU,” Delevic said.

Serbia is expected to be granted official EU candidate status this year and many people are disappointed with the slow progress of their countrys' bid and the conditions continually imposed upon it, Delevic said.

The EU has linked Serbia’s membership bid to the arrest of the remaining two war crimes fugitives, wanted by the United Nations war crimes tribunal, Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic.

Other conditions are speedier reforms and establishing “good neighbourly relations” with Kosovo, whose majority Albanians declared independence from Serbia three years ago.

Delevic said the encouraging fact was that 78 percent of those surveyed declared themselves in favour of reforms, regardless of the pace of progress towards EU entry.

The number of people who blame the EU “conditions and blackmail” for Serbia’s slow progress has fallen from 43 to 24 per cent, while 19 percent blame it on the “incompetence” of the country’s leaders, Delevic said.

In comparison, only 15.1 per cent of people favoured Serbia’s membership of NATO, a recent survey showed. Animosities are still running high against the western military alliance, which launched airstrikes on Serbia over Kosovo in 1999.


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