Albania Overwhelmingly Wants EU Membership, Serbia Not So Much
The other two Western Balkan EU bidders, Macedonia and Montenegro, do not seem extremely enthusiastic, either.
A whopping 93% of Albania’s citizens are in favor of their country’s accession to the European Union, while only 42% of the people in Serbia want it to become an EU member state, according to a poll.
EU membership also enjoys the support of 58% of the citizens of Macedonia but has the backing of only 45% of the people in Montenegro, according to results from the latest Eurobarometer survey from the fall of 2018 cited by The Serbia Monitor and Tanjug, Serbia’s state news agency.
In addition to the 28 EU member states (including the UK), the comprehensive Eurobarometer surveys also poll the citizens of the recognized EU candidate countries, the four countries from the Western Balkans (Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia) as well as Turkey.
While 42% of the people in Serbia, the largest of the Western Balkan EU bidders, are in favor of their country becoming a member of the Union, a total of 22% deem a potential membership to be a bad decision.
Asked if EU membership in general would benefit to their countries, 56% of the Serbs said “yes” while 29% replied negatively.
The positive answers in the other Western Balkan candidates were far more: 95% of the Albanians, 71% of the Macedonians, and 61% of the Montenegrins.
The EU member states themselves appear somewhat divided in terms of public support for further enlargement of the EU.
Greatest support for enlargement is seen in the “new” EU member states from Central and Eastern Europe with 66% in favor in Poland and Lithuania, 65% in Romania, 62% in Hungary, and 61% in Croatia. Spain is the notable exception from Western Europe with 71% of its citizens backing enlargement.
At the same time, other “old” EU member states are large against further expansion of the Union, with 64% opposed in Finland, and 62% in France.
The report notes other comparisons between Serbia and the EU member states. A total of 59% of the citizens of the Union do not trust their national governments, whereas 35% do.
In Serbia, the least enthusiastic EU hopeful from the Western Balkans, 55% do not trust their country’s government while 37% do.
(Banner image: EPP)