Saturday

22nd Jan 2022

Poll: Majority of Croatians favour EU accession

Despite the ongoing crisis sweeping across Europe and the threat of a eurozone breakup, the majority of Croatians favour joining the Union.

Nearly 58 percent of Croatians want to join the European Union and become its 28th member, according to the latest poll conducted by Promocija Plus in early January.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Zagreb: Croatia's accession referendum is on 22 January (Photo: Sobrecroacia.com)

The survey comes just ahead of a referendum on EU membership due on 22 January. The referendum is not legally binding but it will be politically important for the government to secure to a Yes vote, with 1 July 2013 already set as the official accession date.

While the poll results may provide an additional momentum to the government’s pro-Europe stance, a similar poll held in the immediate aftermath of the United Nations war crimes tribunal decision to convict two former top Croatian generals showed 26 percent supported EU accession. That was only in April 2011.

Nonetheless, Croatia’s president Ivo Josipovic told reporters Saturday (7 January) that EU integration is essential and the country would benefit vastly from EU adhesion. “It would be irresponsible to miss out on this opportunity,” he added.

Earlier this month, the new centre-left government led by the Social Democrats launched a vote ‘Yes’ campaign.

The country applied for membership in 2003 and signed the EU accession treaty on 9 December, 2011. It will be the second of six Balkan republics, after Slovenia, that formed the old socialist Yugoslavia to join the EU.

The seven-year process became mired in a territorial dispute with Slovenia over the Bay of Piran, a small body of water in the northern Adriatic Sea some 20 square kilometers in size. At the time, some Slovenian politicians threatened to hold a referendum against Croatia’s entry into the EU.

The historical precedent is not lost upon the Croatian politicians who view the pportunity to join the EU as a story built upon the ashes of a war that had claimed 20,000 lives only 16 years ago.

Following the 9 December, 2011 EU accession treaty signing in Brussels, President Josipovi and outgoing Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor described the membership as a struggle against for independence from Serbia.

"It is with love and pride that I remember all those who laid down their lives for a free Croatia," Kosor said at a ceremony in the EU headquarters in Brussels following the treaty signing.

Croatians say Yes to EU accession

Croatians voted in favour of joining the European Union on Sunday in a popular referendum that will see it become the 28th member state, but the turnout was low.

Interview

Does North Macedonia really exist?

Its language and history give North Macedonia its identity for president Stevo Pendarovski, but, for Bulgaria, neither of them are real, in a dispute holding up EU enlargement.

Spain to recognise Kosovo if it gets Serbia deal

Spain would be prepared to recognise Kosovo if it clinched a deal with Serbia, Madrid has said, in the first positive signal of its kind since EU-brokered talks resumed.

News in Brief

  1. 'No embargo' on meetings with Putin, EU says
  2. Austria to fine unvaccinated people €3,600
  3. MEP: Airlines should start paying for CO2 sooner
  4. Twitter forced to disclose what it does to tackle hate speech
  5. EU watchdog calls for ban on political microtargeting
  6. MEPs adopt position on Digital Service Act
  7. Blinken delivers stark warning to Russia in Berlin
  8. Hungary's Orbán to discuss nuclear project with Putin

Opinion

Montenegro's membership can inspire the European Dream

Today (15 December) I come to Brussels with a simple purpose: to present the credentials of my country, Montenegro, to become the next member state of the European Union, writes prime minister Zdravko Krivokapic.

Interview

Does North Macedonia really exist?

Its language and history give North Macedonia its identity for president Stevo Pendarovski, but, for Bulgaria, neither of them are real, in a dispute holding up EU enlargement.

Latest News

  1. Lawyers threaten action over new EU gas and nuclear rules
  2. MEPs urge inclusion of abortion rights in EU charter
  3. EU orders Poland to pay €70m in fines
  4. Dutch mayors protest strict lockdown measures
  5. Macron promises strong EU borders
  6. MEPs to crackdown on digital 'Wild West'
  7. Macron calls for new security order and talks with Russia
  8. Macron's vision will hit EU Council veto buffers

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us