The citizens of Serbia are more in favor of cooperation with China and Russia than with countries in the region

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More than half of Serbian citizens want it to strengthen economic ties with China and Russia than with countries in the region, while 84% of respondents said that the gap between rich and poor is growing – shows the latest edition of the Balkan Barometer survey conducted by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).

In Serbia, the greatest trust is in the rule of law in the region: 52 percent of citizens believe that the laws are applied effectively, while 38 percent believe that the law is the same for everyone.

Regional cooperation has greater support (77 percent), and most citizens believe it can improve the political, economic and security situation in their countries.

Unemployment (49 percent) and economic development (46 percent) remain two key problems in the region. In addition, citizens in the region are most concerned about corruption and “brain drain” (26 and 13 percent, respectively).

More citizens want EU membership (62 percent compared to 59 percent in 2020), but only a quarter of respondents are optimistic that the region’s integration will happen by 2025.

Fewer people want to leave the region (37 percent compared to 43 percent last year), and 53 percent said they do not plan to work abroad in the near future.

Compared to 2019, more people use the Internet, and 39 percent for two or three hours a day.

Companies in the Western Balkans use the Internet for communication (77 percent), marketing (54 percent), searching for innovative ideas, trends and partners (34 percent).

Presenting the latest results, the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, Majlinda Bregu, said today in Tirana that 71 percent of the citizens in the Western Balkans trust the institutions, and 62 percent believe that the media are not independent.

Citizens of the Western Balkans support employment measures for people with disabilities (92 percent) and Roman (81 percent).

Concerns about climate change

Three quarters of the respondents are worried about climate change and pollution, and 62 percent are willing to pay more for “eco products”.

Regarding the impact of the corona virus pandemic, 43 percent of citizens fear job loss, and 46 percent say they have lower salaries and 39 percent believe that their governments do not do enough to protect people from job loss during a pandemic.

The Balkan Barometer is an annual public opinion survey conducted by the RCC, collecting and analyzing data collected from citizens and companies of the Western Balkans on thematic areas such as employment, trade, investment, corruption. This year, 6,000 citizens and 1,200 companies from six Western Balkan countries are involved, BiF reports.