The Gallup Balkan Monitor: the Western Balkans’ most wide-ranging survey ever

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Balkan-Monitor.eu provides news and views about the Western Balkans. It’s the home of the Gallup Balkan Monitor survey that continually monitors the views of the Balkans residents: from their living standards, happiness and attitudes towards the EU, to their employment opportunities, feelings about living abroad and the performance of their governments. The Balkan Monitor is the one-stop-shop for anyone requiring strategic insights into the Balkans.

To explore the findings and our reports, please use the links above.

 
 

Mladić trial: towards a brighter future for Serbia?

The trial of the former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladić is expected to be long and intricate like the one of Radovan Karadžić (the former Bosnian Serb political leader) which is still ongoing. Adjourned for one month since its beginning on June 3rd 2011, Mladić is now stalling his prosecutors: he refused to enter a plea and asked for two other lawyers of his choice to defend his case.
The latest results of the Gallup Balkan Monitor (dating from July 2010) shed a light on Serbian public opinion as regards the case: a relative majority of respondents in Serbia (46%) thought it is worth to extradite all suspected war criminals to the ICTY in order to preserve peace and facilitate development, even if it is contrary to some or many peoples’ wishes.
However, when asked about Mladić in particular, the opinion recorded by the Balkan Monitor is more divided: 38% of respondents think that he is a good patriot and half that number (19%) said he was a war criminal. Just under a quarter (23%) did not think he was either of those and one-fifth did not know or would not answer the question. Asked in 2010 about the reasons why Mladić remained at large, 10% of people in Serbia thought that he was in the country, but could not be located, 17% were convinced that he was abroad and could not be located there – while the largest share, 35% of respondents, were of the opinion that the authorities knew where he was, but did not want to capture him.
Despite the positive global reaction to Mladić capture it remains to be seen whether it was “the last remaining obstacle on Serbia’s path towards the EU” (deputy war crimes prosecutor Bruno Vekarić to Beta news agency). The unclear status of Kosovo with EU member states divided over the recognition of its independence could pose another barrier to Serbia joining the EU. However, recent news from the current Kosovo-Serbian negotiations reporting that an important breakthrough in administrative matters has been achieved suggest that there might be some movement in the stalemate around the Kosovo issue. Public opinion on the Kosovo dispute, published in the Balkan Monitor’s July 2010 ‘Focus on Kosovo’s independence’, showed that unconciliatory public opinion will make it hard for politicians to find a compromise. The latest results confirm this assessment: two-thirds of respondents in Serbia are convinced that Serbia will ‘never’ recognize Kosovo and only under 4% of Kosovo Albanians would agree to a territorial compromise with either the Serb-majority areas of Kosovo joining Serbia or an exchange of Serb- and Albanian-majority areas between Serbia and Kosovo.