The EU parliament has adopted a resolution in regards to the latest EU progress report. In it, the parliament at one point expresses concern at Euroscepticism in Croatia, saying that it is concerned that the latest Eurobarometer survey shows that Croatian citizens believe that joining the EU “…would not benefit the country.”
The parliament, “…encourages the Croatian authorities and civil society, with the help of the Commission, to work to ensure that the Croatians see the European project as being theirs as well; calls on the Croatian Government to lend much more political support to civil-society organisations that seek to promote EU membership for the country…”
A related press release even says this is the ‘biggest challenge’ for Croatia.
Quite clearly, the EU is concerned that Croatian citizens may say ‘no’ to the EU.
This confirms what we have said in the past: A rejection of the EU by Croatia would be bad for Brussels. A country that has fewer problems that some recent members – and arguably older ones – rejecting the EU would raise all manner of questions, especially by the Eurosceptic members of the EU public. The EU would be seen as not really the desirable ‘project’ it considers itself to be. Croatia would be pointed out as the country whose example should be followed.
That’s the sort of thing Brussels does not want. We may now see less EU criticism – from some quarters at least – of Croatia and possibly even some wooing.
Someone for the EU to listen to?
The German MEP Bernt Posselt has issued a press release on the Croatian resolution. He has a more sensible attitude towards Croatia, showing a clearer historical grasp than many in Brussels as well as honourably reminding the world of Vukovar. If the EU wants to influence Croatian public opinion, they should listen to people like him.