Croatia's president Ivo Josipovic casts his ballot at a polling station in Zagreb, Croatia today. AP Photo/Darko Bandic

Croatia votes on whether to join the EU

Opinion polls suggest the referendum will probably pass – but it could be close.

PEOPLE IN CROATIA are voting in a referendum today on whether to join the European Union.

If it passes, the former Yugoslav republic will become the 28th member state of the EU. Opinion polls suggest that there is currently between 56 and 60 per cent support for today’s referendum, according to Associated Press.

The vote will be an indicator of whether the ongoing eurozone crisis has made the EU a less attractive proposition for potential member states.

“Croatia will not lose its sovereignty or natural resources, nor will it be ruled by the EU,” Croatia’s president Ivo Josipovic said in a written statement to the nation yesterday.

He was speaking to quell fears from opponents of today’s referendum who believe it will lead to a loss of sovereignty for the country. Croatia became an independent country less than two decades ago following a gruelling war.

Supporters say joining the EU is the best option for the country in the long term.

Croatia signed a formal assession treaty in December to signal its intent to join the EU, pending the ratification of the treaty by today’s referendum. If it passes Croatia will join the Union on 1 July 2013.

The first results should be known later this evening.

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- Additional reporting by Associated Press

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