World Bulletin / News Desk
According to the poll conducted by the government's Office for European Integrations, 50 percent of Serbian population would vote "yes" if referendum on European Union membership is held tomorrow.
According to the same poll, 24 percent would vote "no", and 19 perecent would not vote at all, while eight percent is not sure how they would answer.
"However, many respondents – 68 percent – consider that all the requested reforms should be implemented even if the EU is not the goal, to build new and better Serbia," the Office for EU integration claims.
The poll was conducted among 1,050 respondents older than 18, and it shows support 9 percent higher than before.
According to the Office of the European Integrations, this result can be explained by the fact that citizens of Serbia are starting to feel some positive impacts of the EU enlargement process, including decision of the EU leaders to start with association negotiations at the beginning of the next year.
The same poll shows that 41 percent of people support the most anti corruption measures, believing that it can improve the most of their everyday life.
Most of the respondents, 40 percent, find issues related to dispute about Kosovo status as the main obstacle for EU integration, while 66 percent believe that the issue should be dealt with even if not it is one of the requests from Brussels.
Kosovo, a former Serbian province, declared independence in 2008. Over the years, Belgrade refused to recognize Kosovo which is considered by Serbia's nationalists to be the cradle of the country's medieval statehood and religion.
As the main reasons for supporting EU membership are perspective for more working places (38 percent), and access to European funds (33 percent).
For 41 percent of people in Serbia, EU membership represents road towards better future for young people, possibility for freedom of movement inside the EU (44 percent), and as new possibilities for employment (38 percent).
Serbia formally applied for EU membership in 2009, and in March this year it was granted EU candidate status. A vital breakthrough came on April 19, when Serbia and Kosovo reached a historic agreement to normalize relations.
Membership negotiations can take years since any new EU nation has to bring a large number of legislation into line with EU standards, from farm policy to human rights and legal issues.
The outcome of the poll would have been affected by where it was conducted. If in Belgrade, yes the poll might be correct but if carried out in the interior of the country (which is not) the outcome would have been quite different.