It seems that on July 1, 2013, Croatia will become European Union’s (EU) 28th member-state after all – that is if EU still exists as we know it today. The referendum that determined Croatia’s future with the Union took place on the 22nd of January, 2012, and had an admittedly poor outcome of about 43.5%. This means that most of the eligible voters did not even bother to support or reject their country’s bit for accession into the EU. Of course, the EU welcomed the result of the referendum while Croatia’s Prime Minister thinks of it as a “historic decision”; but the question remains: if the EU is facing its deepest political and economic crisis yet and the ballot results were anything but indicative about what the Croatian public opinion wants, then why is everyone so happy about it?
Although there are some reasons for both the EU and Croatia to be happy about this development, it is a matter of subjectivity whether they could counterbalance the above mentioned negative factors. To unpack this problem we briefly look into the situation in Croatia and the EU.