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SURVEY ON WESTERN BALKAN PEOPLE’S PERCEPTIONS ON ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP AND EUROPEAN CITIZENSHIP 1

June 2014


Copyright of Beyond Barriers Association Rruga Don Bosko, Pallatet Edil-Al, Kulla 4, Kati 8, Ap 52 PO BOX 87 - Tirana, Albania www.beyondbarriers.org www.active-citizens.org www.vullnetarizmi.org Report prepared by: Dr. Suela Kusi Editing team: Ana Mullanji, Irena Topalli, Eni Tresa Design: Dhimiter Lati and Vangjel Dafa Published on June 2014, Tirana Albania 2 Disclaimer: The use of this report in part or as a whole is permissible providing the integrity of the survey remains intact and an appropriate quotation and reference system is used.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


Contents 05

Preface

06

Executive summary

12

Introduction

16

Aim of the survey

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Methodology

18

Sampling

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Results of the survey

28

ANNEXES

30

Project Summary

32 Acknowledgements

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Preface This survey is a product of the project “Active European Citizenship for Democracy and Participation: Bridging EU and Western Balkans” financed by Europe for Citizens Programme of European Commission. The project is a collaboration of Beyond Barriers Association as a Leading Partner with the partnership of 5 associations from United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, FYR Macedonia and Serbia. The 17 months project started its implementation in August 2013 and shall come to an end in December 2014. The goal of the project is to further explore the European citizenship notions and the impact EU policies and prospective EU membership of Western Balkan countries have on democracy and participation across EU and the Western Balkans. As an important part of the whole project implementation, this survey, aims to further elaborate the perceptions of the notions of citizenship and European citizenship among the citizens of Tirana, Skopje and Novisad, taking into account the perspective the three countries have on joining the EU. The survey also aims to shed light on the citizen’s knowledge and understanding in the EU policies affecting their countries and fostering the sense of active participation and citizenship. The field research took place during the three action days held in the respective cities organised and hosted by the partner association. Each of the action days was compound of 2 parallel

workshops with practitioners of civic education and high school students. At the same day 500 citizens were interviewed in each city, using a unified questionnaire prepared in advance by the working team of the project. The collected data was further analysed using SPSS and elaborated by an expert with the support of the partners and the whole team, in order to achieve the data and statistics gathered in this publication. We would like to stress that the survey is not representing the opinion of all the three countries, as the sample used is very small. Nevertheless, having worked on the project and especially on the topic of citizenship, the experts involved and the project team can for sure say that the data of this publication is a very good example and even though in miniature, it shows the perceptions that the citizens have regarding any of the 8 questions used for the survey. The survey was prepared with lots of commitment, professionalism and dedication, while opinions were exchanged with different experts. Herby we take a chance to thank them for their engagement and expertise. We wish you a pleasant reading of this survey and hope to have managed to give a perspective of what do citizens think in the Western Balkans when referring to the different notions of citizenship, civic education, EU policies, democracy and participation.

Project Team

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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The European Union’s enlargement is the most challenging project for the EU, both in terms of the number of countries involved and the political, social and economic differences between EU member states and the new members. In recent years the EU enlargement process has been focused on Turkey and the Western Balkans (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo). The Enlargement matters for the European Union and it matters for its citizens. The process will make EU economically strong; it will make us culturally richer and more open-minded, and it will strengthen the values of freedom and democracy beyond our borders. It matters for EU the same way as it matters for the Western Balkan Countries.

A gradual and carefully managed enlargement of the Western Balkan countries is in the interest of the EU. The enlargement of the European Union by the accession of the Western Balkan countries will contribute in strengthening stability, freedom and prosperity in Europe as a whole. The EU enlargement eastward will be a completion, and not just in geographical terms, of the Union, and will strengthen its borders in the Southeast Europe. It would complete the European single market with territory and population in which European values are widespread and strongly supported. Enlargement policy and in particular the accession of new Member States need public understanding and support in order to be successful and sustainable. This is challenging in an environment where, notably in the context of the

on-going financial and sovereign debt crisis. The most important strategy of the EU enlargement is the communication which is to provide the public a better understanding about enlargement. It is very serious to listen to the citizens and apply their ideas, understand their concerns and to inform them about what they are anxious of. That’s why the EU must submit factual information about the enlargement in order to clarify the public about the benefits and challenges of the accession. Within Member States, the hardest thing is to supply factual information about the upcoming enlargement round and also its impact in terms of the economic success and develop the role of Europe in the world and also underline the advantages and disadvantag-


es of the present enlargement process. EU Institutions and the Member States should inform the public about candidates and the possible candidate countries and should demonstrate them how a managed step by step process of integration will look like. People in the candidate countries should see that the rapidity of the EU integration process depends on how quick the reforms on the rule of law; the functioning of institutions guaranteeing democracy; fundamental rights; and, in the case of the Western Balkans, overcoming the legacy of the past are done. These challenges are primary to the Copenhagen criteria and the conditionality of the Stabilisation Association process. photo: I.Topalli

The faster and more effective the reform process within the countries is, the more rapid will be their progress on the road to membership and all its benefits. The EU while preparing the candidate countries for their membership should also show the benefits of the closer relationships with the EU.

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The European Union has to ‘put people first’ in the enlargement process by raising awareness among people in the country, engaging them in decision-making processes and providing a critical analysis of the social, economic and cultural development in the country. ‘Putting people first’ is an opportunity for Europe to place more emphasis on the basic values of the Union – respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights – and also ensuring that nobody is left behind in the EU Enlargement process. In this context, the “Public Opinion Survey on Western Balkan People’s Perceptions on Active Citizenship and European Citizenship”, was conducted by “Beyond Barriers” experts from

photo: I.Topalli


December 2013 to the end of January 2014. The survey was carried out in three Western Balkan countries, in Serbia, FYR of Macedonia and Albania, and was supported by the “Europe for Citizens” Program of the European Commission.

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The main purpose of the survey was to measure the Western Balkan people’s perceptions on active citizenship and European citizenship and to measure the expected impact or the expectations of citizens in the western Balkans towards the prospective membership of the EU.

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photo: I.Topalli


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Main findings 10

Support for EU integration remains high in the Western Balkans region. Membership in the European Union is considered as something good, keeping in mind that being part of united Europe, it’s the only way for the future economy, politic, security and overall development and progress of the whole region. The interviewees expect from the EU enlargement to have a positive impact such as; better economic conditions, access to the single market, mutual cooperation, better legislation, strong institutions, peace and higher living standards. European Union is perceived much more as an economic and market-driven community that fosters the economic development of its members, than a community in which social aspects determine policies. 8 out of 10 respondents of the survey in all the three countries classify

economic aspect as the most important in the light of the EU integration process. Majority of respondents (53%) define themselves mostly by their nationality. Only 3 out of 10 Western Balkans people feel themselves as citizens of Europe. Albanian &, FYR of Macedonia— showed both a close identification with Europe and strong support for EU integration. Serbia is the country with the lowest European identification (33.4 %) in the survey. The respondents in all the countries have overall good information regarding EU integration, EU membership and EU citizenship matters.Furthermore, more than 6 in 10 (60%) respondents believed that EU membership will affect positively in citizens rights in their country, while just about 2 in 10 (22.53 %) held a different view by saying that it was hard to say

anything regarding the topic. The respondents show a good understanding of the objectives and aspects of EU integration process.There is a good support for EU integration process (Albania has the highest percentage of supporters). The majority of the respondents from Albania (68.30%), compared to the respondents from FYROM (47.90%) and the respondents from Serbia (33.46%) were able to answer “Yes”. Whilst the majority of respondents from Serbia (67.00%) and FYROM (52.00%) were of the opinion that the European citizenship is not linked with EU membership. The results of the question indicate to a large extend, especially in Albania that people cannot distinguish between EU citizenship and


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The majority of respondents consider that EU integration will have a positive impact in the democracy, economy and human rights of their countries. Most respondents also expected a positive stimulus for their country’s employment opportunities, economy, relations with neighbouring countries, youth and social policy, foreign and security policy, governmental institutions, environment, education policy, agriculture and inter-religious relations.

photo: T.Coulardeau

European citizenship as two different concepts, which normally might be an indication for a lack of knowledge on EU matters.


INTRODUCTION RATIONALE BACKGROUND

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The concept of ‘Citizenship’ is central to the work of NGOs all over Europe. It is highly ranked on the agenda of European Institutions and it is of crucial importance especially for the democratic development of the countries in Eastern Europe and in Western Balkan Countries. In 1993, the Maastricht Treaty defined EU citizenship and granted a set of rights to all EU citizens, whether economically active or not. The Lisbon Treaty and the

EU Charter of Fundamental Rights reinforced EU citizens’ rights. The concept of Active and Participatory Citizenship was introduced to emphasize action and the agency of citizens as actors in relation to policy and state1. The key to the longterm sustainability of democracy is Participatory Citizenship.

1 Bryony Hoskins, Hermann Abs, Christine Han, David Kerr and Wiel Veug, (10 May 2012) Contextual Analysis Report: Participatory Citizenship in the European UnionInstitute of Education, European Commission, Europe for Citizens Program 2 Putnam 2000, 1993; Almond and Verba 1963; De Tocqueville 1863). 3 (Crick 2003).

The literature on both theory and empirical research has highlighted the fact that legal rights and institutions alone are rarely sufficient for a flourishing democracy and that the quality of democratic governance relies on the civic virtues and engagement of their citizens2. Vibrant democracies require active citizens – both inside and outside the political system – to monitor the process and to be willing and able to act, to create or resist change.3 Recent research have shown that there has been a steady decline in citizens’ engagement in formal political engagement and trust, which can be seen in the decreasing levels of participation in European elections and the resultant perception of a gulf between citizens and the European policy-making process. Although the concept of active citizenship has been used for more than ten years by the institutions and in the documents of the European Union, there continues to be no consensus on its precise definition. Although there are some guiding principles, a clear definition is still absent. Different concepts exist in the member states, and one can encounter a wide range of approaches and methods. While, in some countries the definition centres on equal opportunities and


freedom, elsewhere a paternalistic approach dominates. Without going into details, the differences can be explained by historical and cultural factors to a larger extent. Active Citizenship is more than giving to charity, voting at elections or volunteering. Definitions of participation that focus on political participation or a narrow understanding of volunteering fail to capture the diversity of people’s engagement across Europe. To give active European citizenship its full meaning and scope, and to help downsize the gap between citizens and the EU institutions, it is necessary to take account of the new prospects opened up by Article 11 of the Treaty on the European Union for citizens’ participation in the democratic life of the European Union.

with respect to new forms of civic and political participation such as one-off issue politics and responsible consumption, as well as the more traditional forms of membership in political parties and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

photo: I.Topalli

A very comprehensive definition of the Active citizenship is given by Hoskins in 2006. He defines the term as ”participation in civil

society, community and /or political life, characterized by mutual respect and nonviolence and in accordance with human rights and democracy”.

This definition is equally inclusive

photo: I.Topalli

Active citizenship is one of the prerequisites for increasing social cohesion; the continuation of participatory and representative democracy as well as to reduce the gap between citizens and governing institutions. The principle of participatory democracy is based on the interactive cooperation between public authorities and citizens, being represented by civil society organizations. Facilitating Active Citizenship is one of the European Commission’s strategies for increasing social cohesion and reducing the democratic deficit across Europe within the context of the wider Lisbon process. To underscore this, the EU institutions called “2013” the European Year of Citizens to give new impetus to EU citizenship and to the citizens’ dimension of the European project. The aim of this initia-

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photo: I.Topalli

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photo: I.Topalli

15 tive was to promote the rights that all EU citizens enjoy, to underline the concept of EU citizenship, to highlight the voting rights and to encourage people to take part in the forthcoming May 2014 European elections. In August 2013, the Beyond Barriers Association in framework of “Europe for Citizens” EU Community Program started the implementation of the “Active Citizenship for Democracy and Participation” project. In this context, the “Survey measuring the perception of the notions of citizenship and European citizenship” has been undertaken by BBA between

December 2013 and January 2014 in three Western Balkan Countries (Albania, FYROM and, Serbia). The survey results indicate expectations, hopes, needs – but also fears, concerns and reasonable demands for information of people in the three surveyed countries. And furthermore: information gaps. The political and legal transformation process coming with the European accession and the challenges for civil society and economy might have an impact on the individual life of every Western Balkan citizen. In this context, it is one of the most distinguished responsibilities of the govern-

ments to take care for every individual’s concerns and fears and deliver accurate and adequate information. The Report draws attention to those fields where more information efforts are needed. The results of the survey enable all involved partners and stakeholders on the process of the European Integration process in the respective countries to sharpen their communication activities, to understand better information needs of all parts of society and to develop sustainable and pro-active communication tools.


AIM OF THE SURVEY

• The effects of the EU accession to the Western Balkan people. • What citizens of Western Balkan people expect from the European Union • Expectations of how EU integration would impact certain issues • Country’s membership in the European Union. • The European Identity. • The rights of Citizens in European Union

photo: I.Topalli

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The purpose of this survey is to evaluate the perception of the notions of citizenship and European citizenship, as well as the knowledge on EU policies, fostering active participation among adults and youth in the Western Balkans countries (i.e., Albania, FYROM and, Serbia). The survey is part of a regional research on citizenship and perception of citizens’ role in democratic life in Albania, FYROM and Serbia. The target group of the survey was very broad, including different age ranges, gender, employment and level of education. The “Public Opinion Survey on Western Balkan people’s perceptions on active citizenship and European citizenship” gives a first impression on the;


Existing research and relevant literature was gathered and reviewed. The survey was conducted in three Western Balkan countries that are Serbia, FYR of Macedonia and Albania and the collection of data occurred during the implementing time of each country. The methodology of the survey was based in qualitative and quantitative research methods. The quantitative research was developed through a standardised questionnaire for the three countries. The questionnaire was created with the common work of representations of six partner organizations that took part in the project and kicked off the meeting organized in Tirana in the beginning of September 2013. The first part of the questionnaire dealt with the perception of people towards citizenship and European citizenship, and the second part dealt with expected impact of EU membership in the country in general and on the citizens. The interviews have been conducted with targeted persons selected according to simple random sample between 08:00-20:00, in order to cover the whole target population over 14 years and older. The data were collected by volunteers of each project partners in Novi Sad, Skopje and Tirana. The statistical programme SPSS was used to analyse the data. Each organization entered in the program the data of each country and lateral data were analysed and compared. Excel

photo: I.Volf

METHODOLOGY

program from Microsoft office package was used in order to create/ develop graphics for the final results of the survey. Participants of the seminars organised in each country were also part of this research. Each action day consisted of two seminars, one with high school students and one with practitioners, teachers, youth workers, university professors, and journalists, NGO representatives and institutions representatives. Participants of each seminar were part of the survey, by filling in the same questionnaires. No major problems, referring to the content of the interview, were encountered during the field study. No difficulty was experienced especially in finding people willing to answer the questionnaire regarding this project. Due to the nature of survey the people’s approach has been positive. It was observed that the participation and answers of the source persons were sincere throughout the field study.

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SAMPLING 500 citizens of each country (Albania, FYR Macedonia and Serbia) were randomly selected and interviewed about aspects of EU integration, EU citizenship and their thoughts about how their country might change if they accede in EU. The objectives of EU integration process were adapted to the recommendation of EU for each of the countries. The person interviewed was: • Aged 14 or older • A permanent resident in the respective countries. • Interviewed individually without disturbances or suggestions from anyone else.

photo: I.Topalli

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photo: I.Topalli

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Comparing gender rates, 70.6 % of respondents in Albania are females, compared to 25% of males, in FYR Macedonia 49% of respondents were females and 51 % males, in Serbia 57% of respondents were females compared to 43 % of males.

Gender Distribution in %

Male

Female

Albania

25.4

70.6

FYR Macedonia Serbia

51.0

43.0

49.0 57.0

The age of residents ranges between 14 and 60 years old. Only 5% of respondents were over 60 years old.


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Distribution by level of education: • Primary School 1.75% in Albania, 6.10% in FYROM, 23.00% in Serbia • High School 23.86 % in Albania, 45.20% in FYROM, 51.20 % in Serbia • University 74.39% in Albania, 48.70% in FYROM, 25.80 % Serbia


Distribution by economy status:

Low 5.71 % in Albania, 21.80% in FYROM, 9.4% in Serbia

Medium 83.97 % in Albania, 73.30% in FYROM, 84.80% in Serbia

High 10.32% in Albania, 4.90 % in FYROM, 5.80 % in Serbia

Out of which:

Employed 40% in Albania, 48.90% in FYROM and 33.40% in Serbia

Unemployed 60% in Albania, 51.10% in FYROM and 66.60% in Serbia

NOTE: The self-declared economy status refers to each country’s standards as set by the respective governments. Low, Medium and High levels are indicating the minimal, medium and maximal salaries of each country based on the respective legal bases.

NOTE: The interviewed age group 14 till 18 years old falls on the category of unemployed people. While those 18-30 years old that are students are counted as they declared, either employed or unemployed. In all three countries the practice of being a student and working part time is very common.

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RESULTS OF THE SURVEY

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Question 1 was related to the citizenship. The participants were asked if they feel citizen of i) their city, ii) their region, iii) their country or iv) Europe. The data show that the major part of the respondents (53%) define themselves mostly as citizens of their country. Only 3 out of 10 Western Balkan people feel themselves as European Citizens. However this result varies from one country to another. In Albania 51.40% and FYROM 60.10% of the respondents felt as citizens of their country. Whilst in Serbia the majority of the respondents (66.20%) felt as citizens of their city. The perception of the participants defining themselves as citizens of Europe was relatively low, only 27.50% of respondents in Albania (the European Citizenship was the third choice out of four), 21.85 % in FYROM (third choice out of four) Serbia is a

characteristic with its low European identification, only 33.46% in Serbia felt themselves as citizens of Europe. 23.60% of the respondents in FYROM and 10.64% of Albanian respondents felt themselves as citizens of their region. Question 2 deals with the perception of the respondents, if the European citizenship is linked with the EU membership. The majority of the respondents from Albania (68.30%), compared to respondents from FYROM (47.90%) and the respondents from Serbia (33.46%) were able to answer “Yes�. Whilst the majority of respondents from Serbia (67.00%) and FYROM (52.00%) were of the opinion that the European citizenship is not linked with the EU membership. The results of the question indicate to a large extend, specifically in Albania, that people cannot distinguish between EU citizenship and European citizenship as concepts, which normally might be an indication for a lack of knowledge on EU matters.


Country’s membership in the European Union. Question 3 looks at the respondents’perception on the impact that EU membership will have in their countries. 47% of respondents in all countries consider that EU membership will change their country for better. However there is a distinction to be made in the percentage of this majority. Albania was first ranked for the high percentage of respondents who believe that EU membership will change their country for better (74.40%). This percentage tends to be less in FYROM (36.90%) and Serbia (30.80%). Albania at the same time had the lowest percentage of participants who consider that EU membership will change their country for worse (only 5%), followed by Serbia (16.20%) and FYROM (19.60%). 27.60% of the respondents in Serbia, 18.90% in FYROM and 2.80% in Albania consider that EU membership won’t have neither a positive nor a negative impact in their country. A considerably high portion of the respondents, 25.40% in Serbia, 24.60% in FYROM and 17.80% in Albania had no answer for this question or found it difficult to assess the impact of EU membership. A vast majority of respondents think that their countries should join the EU. While Support for EU integration remains high in the Western Balkans region. Membership in the European Union is considered as something good having in mind that being part of the continental Europe, that’s the only way for the future economic, political, security and overall development and progress of the whole region. For small states of Western Balkans to remain relevant in today’s global society, only the EU can provide the most-advanced framework for geopolitical and negotiating positions. If these countries will join the EU it will have a positive impact such as better economic conditions, access to single market, mutual cooperation, better legislation, stronger institutions, peace and higher living standards.

Question 4. European Integration Process and perceived benefits It must be said that the European Union is perceived much more as an economic and market-driven community that fosters the economic development of its members, than a community in which social aspects determine policies. When asked “to rank the most important aspects of the EU integration for their country” all the participants of the survey in all these three countries classify the economic aspect as the most important in the light of the EU integration process (Albania 84.4%, FYROM 80.90% and Serbia 79.40%). However the rest of the ranking of the most important aspects of EU integration is quite diverse for all the countries. Politics is ranked as second for Albania (57.7%), but it is considered as the least important for Serbia (49%) and FYROM (40.90%).

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Citizenship is ranked as the least important for Albania (31.60%), the third for FYROM (52.95%) and fourth for Serbia (52.70%). Culture is considered as the second important aspect of EU integration for the respondents of FYROM (53%), third important aspect for Serbian respondents (58.20%) and forth (41.10%) for Albanian respondents. There is lack of information in the social aspects of EU policies, also due to the fact that some negative aspects of the transitional market economy provide an impression amongst citizens that reforms are not driven by citizens’ needs. European Integration is perceived as a benefit for all three countries, taking in accounts the benefits for future economic, political, security and overall development and progress of the whole region.

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If Western Balkan countries would join the EU it will have a positive impact such as: better economic conditions, access to the single market, increase in competitiveness and investments, availability of work and study in other European countries, mutual cooperation, financial support, more travel opportunities, better legislation, rule of law, strong institutions, peace, higher living standard etc.

Ranking of the most important aspects of EU integration   Albania Economy (84.4%) Politics (57.7%) Society (57.00%) Culture (41.10%) Citizenship (31.60%)

Macedonia Economy (80.9%) Culture (53%) Citizenship (52.95%) Society (52.55%) Politics (40.90%)

Serbia Economy (79.4%) Society (60.4%) Culture (58.20%) Citizenship (52.70%) Politics (49.00%)

Question 5 examines the perception on the influence that the EU integration has in human rights in each of these countries. A vast majority of participants responded in that EU integration will affect human rights for better in 83.50% in Albania, 47.50% in FYROM and 43.20% in Serbia. The respondents who consider that EU integration will affect the human rights for worse are the minority of the participants in all the countries. However it is interesting to see how the percentage differs from one country to the other. It is low for Albania, only 3 %, but it rises in 6.86% for Serbia and 11% for FYROM. The percentage of the interviewees that did not respond or that had no answer, for this question was relatively high for Serbia (22.04%) and FYROM (24.20%).High was also the portion of respondents who consider that EU integration won’t impact the human rights, 27.90% in Serbia,17.30% in FYROM, and 3.8% in Albania. Membership in EU will resolve Balkans’ big problems such as organised crime and corruption. Besides that, young people strongly believe that it can help people to overcome stereotypes and learn more about different cultures and people also.


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Question 6, is related to the interviewee perception if the EU membership will affect the state of democracy in the country. The majority of the interviewees in Albania and FYROM believed that EU membership will positively impact democracy in their country. Still a considerable difference may be noted in the percentage of the interviewee from one country to another. Albania has the highest percentage of respondents that believed on the positive impact of EU membership 82.56%, followed by FYROM 43.20% and lastly Serbia 31.60%. Albania has also the lowest percentage (3%) of respondents that consider that EU membership will affect the democracy for worse, Serbi-

an respondents chose this answer in 9.20% and FYROM respondents in 10.20%. Serbia had a high percentage of respondents who believed that EU membership will have neither a positive nor a negative impact in the democracy of their country. This was the most chosen option for this question, reaching 35% in total of Serbian respondents. This percentage was lower but still considerable in FYROM (17.80%), and relatively low in Albania (5%). The percentage of respondents that was not convinced on how EU membership will impact the democracy in their countries was 27.90% in FYROM, 24.20% in Serbia and 9.61% in Albania.


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Question 7 focuses on the perception of how the EU membership will affect the feeling of European Citizenship in the country of the interviewee. The majority of the persons interviewed considered that membership in the EU will increase the feeling of European Citizenship in their country. Even in this question the percentage of Albanian respondents (68.75%) who believed that membership will increase the feeling of European Citizenship, was higher compared to FYROM (53.20%) and Serbia (47.25%). The proportion of the respondents who consider that EU membership won’t increase the feeling of European Citizenship is quite diverse. It is considerable in Serbia, amounting to 31% of the respondents, 22.40% in FYROM and 8.33% in Albania. It is hard to say, or even, no answer, was the reply of this question for 24.40% of respondents in FYROM, 22.92% in Albania and 21.65% in Serbia.

Question 8 was about the ranking of the objectives of EU integration process. Western Balkan countries previously have gone through different political and economic experiences and therefore their perception on the objectives of the EU integration process differs. This ranking was very similar for respondents living in Albania and those in FYROM. The Albanian respondents ranked the i) free movement of people, money, goods, and services in the first place, followed by ii) safety inside/outside union, iii) worker’s protection policies, iv) European Participation Peace Process, v) creation of European identity capacity. The three first objectives were ranked in the same manner also by the respondents in FYROM. The distinction is that creation of European identity capacity is ranked forth followed by the European Participation Peace Process which was the least of their choices. Respondents living in Serbia had a quite diverse ranking. They considered i) democracy as the most important objective of EU integration, followed by ii) economy, iii) human rights, iv) regional cooperation and v) capacity.


Rank of the objectives of EU integration process Albania

FYR Macedonia

Serbia

Free movement of people, money, goods and services

Free movement of people, money, goods and services

Democracy

European Participation Peace Process

Creation of European identity capacity

Regional Cooperation

Safety inside/outside union

Worker’s protection policies

Creation of European identity capacity

Safety inside/outside union

Worker’s protection policies

European Participation Peace Process

Economy

Human Rights Capacity

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ANNEX Survey about European Citizenship Age

________

Economic status:

Gender:

M

F

Low Medium High

Education: Elementary Medium High Employment: Employed Unemployed

1. Do you feel a citizen of (multiple choice possible): a. Your city b. Your region c. Your country

d. Europe (NOT the European Union)

2. Do you think European Citizenship is linked with EU membership? Yes No

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3. Do you think prospective EU membership will change your country… a. For better b. For worse c. Neither

d. Hard to say/no answer

4. Choose three most important aspects of EU integration for your country: a. Economy b. Culture c. Politics d. Citizenship

e. Society

5. Do you think EU membership will affect citizens’ rights in your country: a. For better b. For worse c. Neither d. Hard to say/no answer 6. Do you think EU membership will affect the state of democracy in your country: a. For better b. For worse c. Neither d. Hard to say/no answer 7. Do you think EU membership will increase the feeling of European Citizenship in your country: Yes No Hard to say/no answer 8. Which of the following objectives of the European integration process for your country you consider are the most important? (Rank from 1 the most important to 5 the least important) ___European participation in peace processes___ safety inside / outside the Union ___ free movement of people, money, goods and services (market) ___ Workers’ protection policies ___creation of a European identity


ANNEX

What is European Union Citizenship ? The legal concept of citizenship of the (European) Union was formally introduced into the EC Treaty in 1993 by the Treaty of Maastricht. EU citizenship comprises a limited bundle of legal rights which citizens can exercise vis-à-vis other Member States and the institutions of the EU and, less often, vis-à-vis their own Member State. Many EU citizenship rights are focused on mobile EU citizens, who have exercised the rights of free movement and reside in a Member State other than the one of who are nationals, e.g. as workers, students or retired persons. The legal status of EU citizenship is derived from Member State citizenship. Only the nationals of the Member States are EU citizens. The Member States have largely unfettered power to determine the scope of their own national law, and therefore also who are the citizens of the European Union. However, through the common citizenship of the Union and its core right of free movement, each Member State’s citizenship policy impacts on the other Member States. For more info check http://eudo-citizenship.eu/eu-citizenship

What is European Citizenship? In practice, European Citizenship can be seen as a process of becoming responsible for one’s surroundings, for other individuals and for the society in which we live, in a wider and more inclusive perspective which goes beyond national and continental limits. That responsibility can take many shapes and forms. It is not a responsibility that one can or should be forced to accept, using moral persuasion, but one that the individual freely chooses to engage in. It is a voluntary commitment to the development of a society rooted in values of respect. It is also an ethical response to the civilisational problems facing human kind and to the solution of those problems within local contexts. It is also a kind of agency, a kind of power, a kind of empowerment4.

4 Under Construction-Citizenship, Youth and Europe – T-Kit on European Citizenship

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Active European Citizenship 30

for Democracy and Participation: Bridging EU and Western Balkans:

Program: Duration: Website:

Europe for Citizens 17 Months project 01/08/2013 – 31/12/2014 www.active-citizens.org

The project hosted by Beyond Barriers Association, is a joined action among partner associations from Albania, Poland, Germany, Serbia, United Kingdom and FYR Macedonia. The goal of the project is to further explore the European citizenship notions and the impact EU policies and prospective EU membership of Western Balkan countries have on democracy and participation across EU and the Western Balkans. Key Objective: Analyse the perception of citizenship and European citizenship among citizens of Western Balkan and enhance citizen's participation in the democratic life of the EU by encouraging interaction between citizens, CSO-s and policy-makers in partner countries on issues of relevance for European citizens. Having understood the current development challenges for the European Union, the project aims to contribute


into building a more citizen-based Europe that focuses not only on the economic dimension, but also on the political inclusion of the citizens living within the European community and its prospective citizen living in developing democracies in the Western Balkans. For this reason we wanted to target the European Year of Citizenship and Volunteering as a good reason to realize a citizens’ initiative fostering reflection and debate on the relevance and implications of EU policies on citizens' daily lives, particularly in view to their opportunities to influence political decision making process on local and European levels.

ship in Berlin-Germany and Skopje-FRY Macedonia.

A set of activities was planned to reach the objectives in response to a need for an intensified involvement of citizens on local, national and European levels at a moment where the successful model of a European integration (at the 20th birthday of EU citizenship) based on economic and political integration is challenged by an economic crisis.

September 2014 shall bring the project partners and the different stakeholders in the final conference to be organised in Tirana- Albania, focusing on the civic education and European citizenship and the impact on EU policies, to strengthen democratic participation of its current and prospective citizens, and the launch of the survey publication shall end the project in December 2014. A dedicated website, social media tools and the graphic identity have been developed for the project and aiming help into reaching the online community as means to spread the exchange of information.

Three participatory workshops and the grass-root citizen survey on citizenship and perception of citizens’ role in democratic life in Albania, FYR Macedonia and Serbia were conducted during the project, followed by two regional meetings of practitioners on citizenship education and European policies on EU-Citizen-

All the details and the further developments of this project can be found on our website www.active-citizens.org, in the Facebook group “Bridging EU and Western Balkans” or contacting us through mail at this address: active.citizenship@beyondbarriers.org

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Beyond Barriers Association would like to thank all the persons, partner organizations, stakeholders and institutions that contributed to this publication and the whole project implementation. We would like to thank all the partners involved in the project “Active European Citizenship for Democracy and Participation: Bridging EU and Western Balkans”, namely Robert Schuman Foundation – Poland, European Intercultural Forum e.V – Germany, The Asha Centre – United Kingdom, Balkan Idea Novi Sad – Serbia, Association for Progress, Education and lobbying PEL, FYR Macedonia. Thank you for organising and hosting the events and also for contributing to the Survey realisation. As well a great thank you goes to the Facilitators of each event, for their professional support and advice given to the project team. At the same time thank you to all the participants that took part in the seminars and workshops organised for the project. It is their dedication of time, energy and contribution that helped us to reach the successful implementation and achievements of the whole project. The publication of this survey would not have been possible without the generous financial support of the European Commission’s Europe for Citizens Programme. Last but not least, Beyond Barriers thanks all the staff and volunteers of all partners that also gave a great support in the whole project realisation. Irena Topalli Project Coordinator – Beyond Barriers Association


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The project is financed by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Commission.

Profile for Ira Topalli

Perceptions on Active and European Citizenship - Survey  

Survey on Western Balkans People's Perceptions of Active and European Citizenship published by Beyond Barriers Association as a product of t...

Perceptions on Active and European Citizenship - Survey  

Survey on Western Balkans People's Perceptions of Active and European Citizenship published by Beyond Barriers Association as a product of t...

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