According to the latest survey that the Ministry of European Integration conducts every 6 months, 55 percent of Serbian citizens support the country’s EU accession.
This is three percent higher than the results of the survey conducted in the second half of 2017, while at the same time the percentage of citizens who oppose EU membership is reduced and now stands at 21 percent, says Minister for European Integration, Jadranka Joksimovic.
Joksimovic told Tanjug that, seven or eight years ago, citizens’ support to EU membership has varied considerably and that the changes and amplitudes in the results were great, in line with the changes in the EU itself and in Serbia’s position.
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She adds that the result of the latest survey show a very significant change, given that that percentage in the past two years ranged between 42, 45 and 47. .
The latest results, the minister says, are very good because they show, above all, the maturity of our citizens, as well as that they understand the process of European integration, despite it being undoubtedly a political process.
Joksimovic also thinks that, regardless of the problems that Serbian citizens are facing every single day, they perceive that the time of lamenting over their bad destiny and injustice is now past and that together, as a society, we need to agree and go in a direction that definitely gives a better perspective.
The biggest benefits that citizens see from the potential membership in the EU are first of all, better perspective for young people, the opportunity for new jobs and free movement within the EU.
“You can also travel when you become a member, possibly work in a different country, but on the other hand, you have more chances in your country of residence, as new standards, new investments, new jobs come in,” the minister said.
Joksimovic underlines that Serbian citizens attach the biggest importance to the fight against corruption, health system reforms, the rule of law, agriculture and environmental protection.
“All of this is very important for the citizens. They also think that Serbia will become better organized if it becomes a member of the EU or even during the accession negotiation period”, Joksimovic said.
She reminded that a credible expansion strategy was presented in February this year, that Serbia received EUR 200 million in grants from EU pre-accession funds annually, as well as funds for cross-border cooperation projects and for reconstruction of local infrastructure – roads, hospitals, schools – and public administration reform.
“All these are benefits that citizens ultimately see as an important segment of development,” the minister said.
She also underlined the importance of good relations with the EU member states, and in this regard, stated that President Aleksandar Vucic and the Serbian government have continued nurturing good relations with both Germany and France, as well as with many other EU member states.
“That, of course, gives us more political stability, and in turn, new investments and new jobs,” says Joksimovic.
She pointed out that European integration is indeed and is a process that benefits everyone.
“Why would the citizens of Serbia miss out on this opportunity that they are given?!” Joksimovic concludes.
This post is also available in: Italiano