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More than 68% of citizens of Montenegro have a very positive opinion about the EU membership, the results of a survey on the attitudes, knowledge and expectations of Europeans from the EU showed.
The survey was a part of the Homo Europeanus – Overcoming Knowledge Deficit about the EU which is supported by the European Commission through the programme Europe for Citizens. The results were presented at the Centre for Civic Education (CGO).
The project, in which CGO participates as a partner, has been implemented by 14 organisations, nine of which are from EU member states (Spain, Italy, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia and Bulgaria) and three of them are from candidate countries (Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia).
A representative of CGO Petar Djukanovic said that an average of one in two respondents (49.7%) attended some form of civic education course and four out of ten respondents (42.1%) attended education on the EU course within their formal education.
“In this regard Montenegro is below the average, but bearing in mind that these subjects have been a part of the formal education system for several years only, it can be expected that the average will be higher in the coming period”, said Djukanovic.
He pointed out that the results of the survey indicated that more than two thirds of the respondents were not satisfied with the education on the EU that they acquired during formal education. He added that certain parameters influenced the quality of that education, such as the place of living – respondents from larger cities learned more and knew more about the EU.
CGO also stated that people in the EU countries learned more about the union through formal education whereas people from the candidate countries acquired knowledge about the EU mainly through informal education.
Among the most important elements that form a European identity, respondents pointed out the values of democracy and freedom (66.7%), culture (47.15%), the euro as a common currency (37.7%) and history (31.1%), CGO stated.
Montenegrins see common culture, values of democracy and freedom, the euro, history, geographical connection as the most important, whereas the slogan United in Diversity, European economy success, EU anthem and flag are less important to them.
A huge percent of respondents from Montenegro said they were not well informed about the civil rights of EU citizens (75.8%). The situation is similar when it comes to Serbian and Macedonian citizens.
“When it comes to Juncker’s plan, respondents from Montenegro see creating jobs, economic growth and investments as a top priority, then the establishment of the area of justice with the fundamental rights and mutual confidence, whereas they are the least interested in developments related to the agreement with the US and the construction of a single digital market”; CGO stated.
Respondents from Montenegro said enlargement process was important because it led to economic growth in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe that joined the union earlier, so they hope the same thing will happen in Montenegro.
Respondents from Montenegro believe priority policies of the European parliament should be: the fight against poverty and social exclusion, economic management, taxes and budgets and the fight against terrorism. One of two respondents in all countries where the survey was conducted did not know how decisions are made in the EP.
Speaking about the project, a CGO representative Svetlana Pesic said that the overall goal was to promote knowledge about the EU, especially on the challenges brought by the economic crisis, the rise of intolerance and xenophobia towards immigrants among the citizens of the member states and candidate countries, with the aim to overcome the democratic deficit.
Pesic explained that the survey was conducted between 15 October and 23 November last year on the basis of an online questionnaires and direct surveys on a sample of 6,719 respondents.
The minimum sample per country was 500 respondents stratified by place of residence, gender, age, education and employment status. The answers were analysed on two levels: European and national.
Source: Cafe Del Montenegro