Voters in Croatia were electing members of the European Parliament for the first time on Sunday, and the poor turnout indicates dwindling enthusiasm amongst Croatian citizens for its upcoming entry to the European Union, foreign media have reported.
Most reports underscored that by 4 pm a record low number of 14.63% turned out to cast their vote for Croatian deputies to the European Parliament which is half the number that had turned out for the referendum on Croatia’s accession to the EU held in January 2012.
France 24 notes that Croats voted for their first 12 deputies to the EP and the poor turnout shows that enthusiasm is at best lukewarm toward Croatia’s accession to the EU on 1 July.
Some 3.7 million people are eligible to vote in what officials have described as a “historic” vote after a 10-year journey to EU membership. But analysts say turn-out may be low as the country struggles with recession which has stagnated since 2009, France 24 reports, adding that the attraction of the EU may be falling due to internal problems in the country.
Deutsche Welle points out the low turnout, recalling that only 66% supported Croatia’s EU membership at the January 2012 referendum, but since then public support has dwindled.
Foreign media note another reason for the poor turnout because the MEPs elected on Sunday will only serve for a year, before fresh polls are due across the whole EU in 2014.
EUBusiness reports that “Euro-enthusiasm has been fading”, possibly because politicians did not manage to motivate voters during the campaign, this European portal notes. (Hina)