More than 85% of Serbian citizens believe that preserving Kosovo and Metohija as part of Serbia is an important national interest.
Nearly three out of four people, out of a sample of 1,186 interviewed from 5 to 15 August (excluding Kosovo), by the FPN science team, as part of the three-year project “Nacionalni interes Republike Srbije, od osporavanja do legitimizacije”, believe that the normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina is an important national interest. The research was conducted with the support of the Science Fund of Serbia – ‘National(S)’, which is part of the IDEJE programme.
Almost 50 per cent of Serbian citizens also rejected a proposal in which recognition is not mentioned: i.e. Kosovo’s accession to the UN without formal recognition in exchange for the formation of the Association of Serbian Municipalities (ZSO). Only 19 per cent said “yes” to this proposal.
Maintaining the security of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija is also a top priority for the citizens of Serbia, i.e. for almost 91 per cent of respondents. Only 13 per cent of the survey participants believe that Serbia is more suited to the West, 20 per cent to the East, but in fact, the highest percentage of them – over 50 per cent – say that it belongs neither to the East nor to the West.
At the same time, 69 per cent of citizens fundamentally support Serbia’s policy of military neutrality and would not change it.
“Eighty-one per cent of people in Serbia also care about good relations with their neighbours in the region. The same percentage believes that sanctions should not be imposed on the Russian Federation,” said Stevan Nedeljkovic.
The results also showed that the majority of Serbian citizens believe that EU membership is a national interest. Forty-six per cent of them say it is a national objective, although this is not an overwhelming relative majority.
If a referendum about Serbia’s membership in the EU was to take place, 39% of the respondents would vote in favour of the EU membership and the same percentage would be against it.
Although 47% of respondents would cite economic interests as the key national interest, 23% cite political interests, and between 9 and 11% democratic, identity or environmental interests, the majority would not sacrifice one for the sake of others.
An absolute majority would oppose a national policy that sacrifices political interests in the name of economic progress.
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