61% of Bulgarians believe North Macedonia should join the EU

by Cristian Florescu

A total of 60.9 per cent of Bulgarians believe that the Republic of North Macedonia should join the European Union while 32.2 per cent are against, according to the results of an Alpha Research poll done for public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television’s weekly Referendum programme, write The Sofia Globe

Of those polled, 6.9 per cent said that they did not have an opinion on the question.

Alpha Research contrasted the new poll’s findings with one done in November 2020 on the question of whether Bulgaria should support North Macedonian negotiations before there was an agreement between the two countries on disputed issues.

The January 2022 poll found that 29.6 per cent said yes, while in November 2020, the figure had been 16.9 per cent.

While in November 2020, a total of 81.1 per cent had said no, that had dropped to 69 per cent.

In November 2020, a total of two per cent had no opinion on the matter, while the figure had now decreased to 1.4 per cent.

Asked what should happen for the new governments of Bulgaria and North Macedonia to unblock negotiations on the latter country’s EU membership, 61.9 per cent said that they should maintain their positions but develop them, 12.4 per cent said that they should maintain their current positions and 25.7 per cent said that they should come up with entirely new positions.

As to which topics should be included in negotiations before a decision was made on dropping the veto against North Macedonia’s EU membership talks, the poll produced the results history 80.1 per cent, education and culture 76.1 per cent, economy 65.5 per cent, transport connections 65.5 per cent and infrastructure 63.3 per cent.

The Alpha Research poll results were reported as Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, in office since December 13, prepares to visit Skopje to venture a new beginning in relations with North Macedonia.

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