Post-Election Public Opinion in Kosovo 2010: Findings from an IFES January 2010 Survey
SUMMARY OF MAIN SURVEY FINDINGS
General Perceptions of the Socio-Political and Economic Situation
- Satisfaction with Overall Situation in Kosovo: Majorities of Kosovo Albanians and non-Serb minorities say they are satisfied with the overall situation in Kosovo (56% and 64%, respectively). For Kosovo Albanians, 52% are somewhat satisfied and 4% are very satisfied. Similarly, 53% of non-Serb minorities are somewhat satisfied and 11% are very satisfied. Kosovo Serbs have a different assessment with 84% saying they are somewhat (33%) and very (51%) dissatisfied with the situation in Kosovo. Satisfaction with the overall situation in Kosovo has dropped since 2008. In 2008, 67% of Kosovo Albanians and 54% of non-Serb minorities were very/somewhat satisfied.
- Expectation for Situation in One Year: A majority of Kosovo Albanians (58%) expects the overall situation in Kosovo to be better one year from now, as do non-Serb minorities (77%). A majority of Kosovo Serbs, though, believe the overall situation in Kosovo will be the same as now (58%). In 2008, optimism was slightly higher when Kosovo Albanians and non-Serb minorities expected the overall situation in Kosovo to be better in one year. This sense of optimism likely reflected expectations at the time of the 2008 survey, just prior to when independence was declared, that an independent Kosovo would bring about an improvement in the overall situation.
- Issues Facing Kosovo: Across all ethnic groups, economic issues are considered the biggest problems facing Kosovo. Of those who are dissatisfied with the situation in Kosovo, the most-cited problem facing the country is unemployment (91% Kosovo Albanians, 97% non-Serb minorities, 72% Kosovo Serbs), followed by poverty (48% Kosovo Albanians, 48% non-Serb minorities, 29% Kosovo Serbs), general economic problems (29% Kosovo Albanians, 14% non-Serb minorities, 17% Kosovo Serbs), and low salaries/pensions (23% Kosovo Albanians, 21% non-Serb minorities, 23% Kosovo Serbs). These are the same top issues that were cited in the 2008 IFES survey as the biggest problems facing Kosovo. In 2010 there is no longer the concern of undefined political status of the territory which was a big concern at the time prior to Kosovo’s declaration of independence. One noted difference between ethnic groups in this survey, however, is that 50% of Kosovo Serbs cite lack of security/fear as the biggest problem facing Kosovo, while 20% of non-Serb minorities cite this and only 3% of Kosovo Albanians do.
- Assessment of Economic Situation: When asked specifically to describe the economic situation in Kosovo, 56% of Kosovo Albanians, 70% of non-Serb minorities, and 87% of Kosovo Serbs describe the economy as very/somewhat bad. These percentages are up slightly from 2008 when 53% of Kosovo Albanians and 63% of non-Serb ethnic minorities described the economy as very/somewhat bad.
- Satisfaction with Specific Situations in Kosovo: When asked about satisfaction levels with various situations in Kosovo, a majority of Kosovo Serbs are very/somewhat dissatisfied with the political stability of Kosovo (83%), respect for human rights (84%), and relations between different communities in Kosovo (82%). All three ethnic groups were very/somewhat dissatisfied with corruption in Kosovo (76% Kosovo Albanians, 64% non-Serb minorities, and 82% Kosovo Serbs) and the economic situation in Kosovo (57% Kosovo Albanians, 65% non-Serb minorities, and 81% Kosovo Serbs). Majorities of Kosovo Albanians and non-Serb minorities are satisfied with respect for human rights (50% and 52%, respectively) and relations between different communities in Kosovo (58% and 63%, respectively). Four in 10 Kosovo Albanians and non-Serb minorities are satisfied with political stability in Kosovo (42% and 42%, respectively).