Even though the EU is the largest single donor in Serbia since 2000, the majority of Serbian citizens are not aware of that fact, and more than two thirds have never heard of any EU-financed project. Instead, they perceive Russia, Japan, China and others as greater donors than the EU. Moreover, around 50% of the citizens are either mal-informed or ignorant of the current status in the accession negotiations. What is also suggestive is that approximately one third of the population is indifferent about the EU and would not know how to vote on EU membership if the referendum was held tomorrow.
At the same time, on a superficial level all mainstream political parties are vocally pro-EU whereas a substantive debate on the costs and benefits of EU membership, Serbia’s vision as an EU member, the EU policies of particular interest, etc., is lacking. A vast educational vacuum is hence present in the public space and it requires more streamlined EU and Serbian government’s communication policies.
Full article is available at EU forum web page.