Pristina, 10 February 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Elton Tota
Kosovo Center for Security Studies has presented an opinion poll relating to the perception of the public in Kosovo about foreign policy and dialogue with Serbia.
Based on this poll, the majority of citizens in Kosovo believe that Serbia is benefiting more in the process of dialogue for the normalization of relations, which is taking place in Brussels.
Donika Emini of the Kosovo Center for Security Studies, who has presented the results of the poll, has stressed that the majority of citizens in Kosovo, belonging to the Albanian community, see the results of the process for the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia as very negative.
“This, also due to the fact that the agreement for the Association of Serb Communes had been signed and the political discourse had started to become harsher.”
“We also had the start of the crisis in parliament and citizens of Kosovo immediately reflected this, by suspecting the result of the dialogue in general. It’s clear that the citizens of Kosovo believe that Serbia is the one to benefit more than Kosovo in this process. Serbs also think that Kosovo is benefiting more than Serbia in this process”, Emini said.
Emini added that these perceptions can be the result of the lack of transparency during the process of dialogue.
Emini also said that based on the results of the opinion poll, the majority of respondents have said that even after this process, relations remain the same.
Based on the opinion poll, which has involved 1 thousand and 100 respondents, over 70% Kosovo citizens have declard that the agreement for the Association of Serb Communes is damaging for Kosovo.
Meanwhile, as far as public perception on foreign policy is concerned, it turns out that the majority of respondents, who are Albanians, see Albania as a friendly country, while Serb respondents see Serbia and Russia as friendly countries.
Albanian respondents see Russia as a hostile country, while they see FYROM and Montenegro as neutral countries in relation to Kosovo.
United States of America and Germany continue to be perceived as the biggest allies of Kosovo in the international arena, while they see Great Britain as a friendly country, whereas Turkey has been perceived for the first time as a potential ally.
Citizens of Kosovo continue to share positive perception in relation to the process of EU and NATO integration, by showing their enthusiasm in joining such structures.
Naim Rashiti, analyst at Balkan Group for Policies, said that dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia is part of Kosovo’s foreign policy.
But, according to him, institutions of Kosovo have not been able to explain to the public the benefits of the dialogue and that this is the reason why 70% of Kosovo’s society is against dialogue. /ibna/