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Citizens from the western Balkans have mixed feelings regarding their countries' EU future, with Kosovars and Albanians being particularly optimistic, but barely a third of Croats consider EU accession to be "a good thing," a new survey has shown.
While those living in Kosovo and Albania back their countries' EU integration almost unanimously (89% and 83% respectively), only 29 percent of Croats think Zagreb's EU membership would be beneficial, while 26 percent say it would be a bad thing, according to a Gallup survey presented in Brussels on Monday (17 November).
The Gallup survey also looked into the western Balkan citizens' general perception of their lives, economic situation, relations to the neighbouring countries, or their attitudes towards their respective governments.
It also asked respondents about their views on international institutions and organisations – such as the International Crime Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), with which most countries of the region have to fully cooperate in order to be let into the EU.
People in the different countries were divided on the issue, with a majority of Albanians (69%) and Kosovars (68%) saying the tribunal was helping reconciliation and strengthening peace in the region.
A majority of Macedonians (52%), Croats (53%) and especially Serbs (64%) disagreed however, and thought that not only did the ICTY not serve the interest of the region, but it was simply fuelling past conflicts.
wolfgangschumann on 2008-11-18Only a third of Croats enthusiastic for EU membership