The percentage of citizens supporting Montenegro's accession to the European Union has increased in comparison to last year (62%) and now stands at 65.9%, while the number of those who do not support integration is 23.5%, according to a survey conducted by the Defacto Agency for the needs of the Delegation of the European Union in Montenegro.
The largest support was recorded in the north of Montenegro - as many as 74.9% of the inhabitants of the region support accession. The percentages are similar when citizens are asked about their position on the European Union, and 67.4% of them have a positive attitude, while 23.6% have a negative attitude. Among young people under 35 this figure is even higher, and almost three quarters (74.5%) have a positive attitude towards the EU.
The Ambassador of the European Union to Montenegro, Aivo Orav, said that there are plenty of good news in the research, and that the main thing is that the support to the European Union has increased.
"It is a very important element in the society to connect different groups, because society is quite polarized, but it seems that European integration is what brings people together about the common goal. I think that this is not only interesting for us, but also a message for all political parties and actors in the country, that it is important that they bring Montenegro closer to the European Union, because it is something about which the society is united, "Orav said.
Speaking about the perception of the European Union, representative of Defacto, Olivera Komar, said that citizens were offered open answers, to say their first positive or negative association to the European Union.
"People as positive things on the European Union see movement, freedom, standard, opportunity for a better tomorrow, a better life, community, unity and the rule of law. When negative associations are in question, we have a common fear of losing identity, the themes that have emerged in the last three years - refugees and migrants, and the economic crisis, " Komar said.
The largest number of citizens, 34.3% of them think that Montenegro is moving as fast as possible in the circumstances of becoming a member of the EU. More than a third of respondents (34.6%) believe that Montenegro will join the European Union by 2025.
The vast majority of the citizens, 82.4% of them, say that it is informed on a larger or smaller scale about the EU integration process. 37.8% of them claim that they are interested in EU information, but only those that concern them personally, and this percentage has increased significantly over the past two years.
GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTENEGRO
SECTOR FOR INFORMING THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE EU AND THE EU ACCESSION PROCESS/EU INFO CENTRE