EFAy welcomes the positive results of Sunday’s (22nd January) democratic referendum in Croatia on EU accession, according to which around 66% of the people who voted were in favour of Croatia becoming an EU member.
EFAy welcomes Croatia as the next full EU member in 2013. We also welcome the inclusion of Croatian in the Regulation determining the official EU languages and we would like to use this opportunity to remind the EU institutions of the need to recognize as official languages of the Union the other European languages spoken on its territory, at least the languages of the nations whose National and Regional Parliaments and/or local authorities have asked for an official language status, such as the Catalan, the Basque, the Galician, the Welsh, etc.
It is true that both Croatia and the EU are facing economic and social crisis which means that by becoming a member of the Union, Croatia will not automatically loose its problems and challenges but it will certainly gain a better framework for resolving them, including a full access to the European single market and participation in the decision making process at EU level.
When it comes to reforms to be still implemented, EFAy believes that in Croatia there is a need for a greater and more efficient decentralization that will truly boost the potential of the regions and provide for a sustainable development following the bottom-up approach.
EFAy welcomes the establishment of a solid legal framework for the protection of minorities in Croatia (including the Charter of Fundamental Rights), in line with the European standards for human rights. However, we encourage the Croatian Government to focus their energies and resources on promoting more tolerance and good interethnic and interfaith relations in the multicultural Croatian society as well as on better implementation of the already existing laws.
EFAy dreams of a Europe that upholds and celebrates national and regional diversity against State assimilation and uniformity. We favor a ‘Europe of the Peoples’, a Europe that values and safeguards its different national minorities and identities (languages and cultures). We believe in a Europe that sustains the principle of subsidiarity, supports and encourages self-determination, advocates effectively for social justice and environmental protection and practices progressive democracy.
Together with our members from Croatia, the youth branch of Lista za Rijeku, we will continue to work for a better Europe and a more social, more sustainable and more inclusive Union that enhances the potential of young people and gives them the opportunity to actively participate in our societies.