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(12/25/07) -

Serbians Yearn for EU, Reject Joining NATO

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The vast majority of people in Serbia want their country to enter the European Union (EU) but feel differently about joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), according to a poll by TNS Medium Gallup. 68 per cent of respondents support Serbia’s EU accession, while 55 per cent oppose entering NATO.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The vast majority of people in Serbia want their country to enter the European Union (EU) but feel differently about joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), according to a poll by TNS Medium Gallup. 68 per cent of respondents support Serbia’s EU accession, while 55 per cent oppose entering NATO.

An additional 48 per cent of respondents are satisfied with Serbia’s membership in the NATO-sponsored Partnership for Peace (PfP) Programme, established in 1994 to foster trust between Eastern and Western European states.

NATO was originally formed in 1949 as an agreement of collaboration designed to prevent a possible attack from the Soviet Union on North America or Western Europe during the Cold War. In March 2004, NATO added seven more nations, six of which were once members of the Warsaw Pact—a military alliance of Eastern European Soviet countries.

The remnants of the Yugoslav Federation were transformed into Serbia and Montenegro in February 2003. Following the Balkan war, Kosovo was established as an independent part of Serbia under the protection of the United Nations (UN) and NATO. In 2006, Montenegro became an independent state with full international and legal subjectivity.

In 2003, Albania, Macedonia and Croatia signed the Adriatic Charter with the United States in order to begin accession talks with NATO. In December 2006, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia became NATO allies by joining the PfP—which does not amount to NATO membership.

Serbia has filed a bid to become a member of the EU, but the final status of Kosovo within Serbia—as well as the fact that Serbia has been accused of not cooperating with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)—have hampered the process to this day.

On Dec. 12, Kosovo president Fatmir Sejdiu said the territory would unilaterally declare its independence soon, declaring, "We’re only a few days away from Kosovo’s final act of independence, which will receive international blessing and the blessing of our friends, the U.S., EU, and other democratic countries."

On Dec. 14, EU officials agreed to deploy an 18,000-strong civilian and police mission to Kosovo in order for the EU to "lead in the whole issue of Kosovo." Serbian prime minister Vojislav Kostunika rejected the announcement and decried the EU’s offer to speed up Serbia’s accession to the international body in exchange for "collaborating" with the Kosovo issue, adding, "It is particularly insulting and unacceptable that the mutilated Serbia is being offered the reward of quicker admission into the EU if it reconciles with violent alteration of its borders."

Polling Data

Do you support or oppose Serbia’s membership in the European Union (EU) / the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) / the Partnership for Peace (PfP)?

 

EU

NATO

PfP

Support

68%

28%

48%

Oppose

16%

55%

32%

Not sure

15%

17%

20%

Source: TNS Medium Gallup
Methodology: Interviews with 1,000 Serbian adults, conducted in September 2007. No margin of error was provided.