Albanians have increased their doses of pessimism for EU membership, according to the Balkan Barometer 2022 survey.
Almost half of respondents, around 42%, do not expect the country to join before 2030, while 22% of them believe that Albania will never be part of the Union.
The percentage of Albanians who think so has increased by 6 percentage points compared to last year.
Meanwhile, the percentage of Albanians who thought Albania would be part of the EU in 2025 fell to 26% from 39% last year.
The barometer revealed that 60% of citizens in the Region consider that membership would bring about positive changes. At the same time, the number of people who believe that membership will have a negative impact on the Region has also increased by 3 points (11% compared to 8% in 2020), which is the highest result recorded for this category For years.
While nearly a quarter of Balkan citizens consider EU membership neither good nor bad.
89% of Albanian respondents strongly believe that EU membership will result in multidimensional development.
Serbia is again the only economy where citizens believe that EU membership is not perceived so positively. Only 38% of respondents see benefits in their economy’s possible EU membership.
Moreover, 36% of respondents in Serbia did not claim any significant change if their economy became a member of the EU.
By contrast, 57% of respondents in Montenegro and 56% of those in North Macedonia perceive EU membership as a positive development, while 33% in Bosnia and Herzegovina have neither positive nor negative expectations. .
Moreover, the negative perception of regional relations has considerably reduced. The vast majority of Western Balkan citizens (76%) see a positive correlation between regional cooperation and a better political, security and economic situation.
The percentage of respondents who were skeptical about the region’s positive socio-economic and political impact remained at relatively low levels, with 18% saying they disagreed that cooperation would lead to improvement.
Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia are more interested in studying and working in the EU (46%, 39% and 37% respectively).
Albania is also notable for its people’s belief that Albania’s EU membership will improve the country’s democratic and economic standards, Monitor writes.