Citizens less and less interested in the future of Serbia in the EU

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The citizens of Serbia are less and less interested in the future of Serbia in the EU, while at the same time the attitude towards the war in Ukraine is changing, according to the findings of the public opinion survey of the CRTA observation mission.

According to the survey, more than a third of citizens, or 36 percent, would be indifferent to joining the EU, 28 percent would be happy, and 33 percent would be worried, Crta announced.

“There is also a slight increase in those who are in favor of imposing sanctions on Russia, which is now supported by every fifth citizen”, Crta added.

According to the termination of negotiations with the EU, 43 percent of citizens would be indifferent, that monitoring mission reported the results of research done on the ground, from September 24 to October 3.

It was assessed in the announcement that the findings are worrisome, because as stated, since May of this year, when the previous research was done, there has been an increase in indifference towards EU integration.

“The research data should also be viewed through the prism of the media environment in which most citizens are informed about socio-political issues through pro-government media whose contents, according to the findings of Crta media monitoring, are dominated by anti-Western narratives”, the announcement states.

According to the survey, as stated, citizens are worried that they will suffer the consequences of the war in Ukraine to an even greater extent.

It is also added that “as many as 93 percent of them expect that winter will bring a further increase in the prices of foodstuffs, electricity and fuel, and almost two-thirds fear electricity restrictions and energy shortages”.

The socio-economic situation is the biggest source of concern for 43 percent of citizens, the vast majority.

“In the opinion of 39 percent of them, Serbia is moving in a bad direction, while 33 percent of citizens believe that the country is on the right path”, stated Crta.

The findings of the research, as announced, also show that the majority of Serbian citizens (64 percent) believe that the West, consisting of the USA, NATO and the EU, is most responsible for the war in Ukraine.

“The majority of citizens (71 percent) believe that it is the West that is exerting the greatest pressure on Serbia to turn its back on Russia, and slightly more than a quarter (27 percent) think that Russia is pressuring us to abandon the path to the EU”, Crta added.

According to the survey, the opinion of 61 percent of citizens is that Serbia should preserve good relations with Russia, even at the cost of withdrawing from the EU.

The line also indicated that “nevertheless, there is a change in the attitudes of citizens about the war in Ukraine compared to the first months of the invasion.”

“More than half of the citizens (58 percent) stated that they are closer to the Russian side in the conflict, while a fifth (22 percent) opt for Ukraine.”

According to the survey, support for Ukraine increased by 10 percentage points compared to May 2022, when it was 12 percent, while support for Russia remained at the same level, N1 reports.