More than a half of the citizens of the Western Balkans countries want to be a part of the European Union since they believe in the benefit of the EU integrations, shows the latest research of public opinion conducted by the renowned “Balkans Barometer 2019” which hasn’t officially been published yet.

The data was announced by Regional Council of Cooperation’s Director Majlinda Bregu in a text that was published at RCC’s web page before the start of the Western Balkans summit in Poznan, Poland on the 3rd and 4th of July.

In the text titled as “Regional cooperation is becoming a steady pattern to EU’s magnetic attraction”, Bregu is stressing that “56% – over half of the population believes in the benefit of the Eu integrations, which is the first time in 5 Balkan Barometer editions, a research that is conducted in 6 Western Balkans countries and Turkey and is encompassing over 7000 examinees.

Over 74% of the examinees believe in the benefit of the regional cooperation, states Bregu. The businessmen are sending even more clear messages, where 70% are pleased by the decrease of the roaming charges as it helps their businesses. And 67% value quality of regional cooperation as beneficial.

On the other hand, 60% of them are concerned over unemployment but they also worry about corruption and brain drain and
39% consider leaving the region to look for a job abroad, said Bregu.

The Secretary-General stresses that the expectations from the upcoming Poznan Summit are big and that definitely the region’s chance is in the endorsement of the Multiannual Action Plan for the Regional Economic Area (MAP REA) passed at the SUmmit for the Western Balkans in Trieste 2017, which was coordinated by RCC.

Bregu explains that the roaming was only a segment of this plan and that other activities are underway or are near to completion such as the mutual recognition of academic qualifications across the WB6, aligning the national investment policies with the Regional Investment Policy Agenda (RIRA), with a joint design of the framework plan to
promote the region as the welcoming investment destination, developing a plan for advanced integration of Roma in the region, digital integration through digital summits in Skopje and Belgrade, joint work on cybersecurity issues, broadband policies.

“EU is a magnetic attraction, while regional ” concludes Bregu.