CSS survey: Bosnian citizens’ views on foreign policy and internal issues

NEWS 23.02.202411:29 0 komentara
Bosnia and Herzegovina map

The Center for Security Studies (CSS) conducted an online survey in December 2023 on the attitudes of citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina related to current foreign policy and internal social security issues, the Center announced.

A total of 385 respondents were surveyed about their views on BiH's Euro-Atlantic integration, relations between BiH and other countries, the impact of the wars in Ukraine and Gaza on Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the issue of a possible conflict within the borders of BiH.

The first question referred to the most important strategic foreign policy interest of BiH, and the most frequent answer, among those offered, was Euro-Atlantic integration (EU and NATO), which was chosen by 44 percent of respondents.

The survey stated that 13 percent of respondents think that the key strategic goal of Bosnia and Herzegovina should be the European Union, while approximately the same percentage of respondents think that the goal is only to join NATO, that is, better regional cooperation or cooperation with Russia, Turkey, China or Iran. This corresponds to the defined foreign policy goals of BiH and the support of about 57 percent of respondents, who are committed to Euro-Atlantic integration, with the distinction that some respondents prefer only one option between integration into the EU or NATO.

The respondents answered that European Union, Croatia, Iran, Israel, China, Russia, United States of America, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Turkey and Great Britain are among the friendliest actors towards BiH. Almost half of the respondents, 46 percent, consider Turkey to be Bosnia and Herzegovina's greatest friend, followed by the European Union and the United States of America (38 percent), while almost 25 percent of the respondents declared Great Britain as their greatest friend, which is 1 percent more than Croatia.

There was no dominant majority answer to the question: “Which side should Bosnia and Herzegovina support in the war in Ukraine?”. The most frequent answers are that Bosnia and Herzegovina should support Ukraine (39 percent) or be neutral (38 percent). 14 percent of the total number of respondents believed that Bosnia and Herzegovina should be on the Russian side.

The majority (58 percent) answered that Israel is to blame for the war in Gaza, while 13 percent think Hamas is to blame and slightly more than 20 percent think it is the ‘third party’.

The majority of respondents (61 percent) believe that Bosnia and Herzegovina should support Palestine. Bosniaks and Others are the majority part of the group with this attitude, while 49 percent of Croats and almost 60 percent of Serbs believe that Bosnia and Herzegovina should remain neutral. However, when it comes to choosing sides, Croats and Serbs mostly support Israel.

According to the survey, 42 percent of all respondents believe that there could be a war conflict in BiH and 38 percent do not believe in this, while 20 percent are not sure or do not think they have the right answer to this question.

Of the 385 respondents, 43 percent were female, 54 percent male, while 3 percent did not want to say anything. Adults were surveyed, among them 22 percent between the ages of 18 and 27, and slightly less (7 percent) over 65.

More than 68 percent have a university degree, 27 percent have a secondary education. A smaller number did not want to declare themselves.

In relation to ethnicity, 55 percent declared themselves Bosniaks, 10 percent Serbs, 9 percent Croats, 12 percent Others, while 14 percent of respondents did not declare their ethnicity.

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