Croatia: Elections For EU Parliament – Good Luck And Make Your Mark

Croatia European Union

The time, of which Croatia led by Dr. Franjo Tudjman in 1990 actively dreamed about at the 30th May inauguration of the Croatian Parliament, has finally arrived!

Citizens of Croatia who are registered on the Electoral Roll (Popis birača) will have an historic opportunity to choose 12 candidates as representatives of the Republic of Croatia in the EU Parliament. Regardless of the varying opinions amongst Croats as to whether entering into EU membership is a good or a bad direction for Croatia, the reality is that Croatia will be a member state of the EU as of 1st July 2013.  Hence, this is the time to accept this reality and act positively toward it by becoming active either through candidacy or through registering on the Electoral Roll and voting.

While the EU Parliament elections are to be held in Croatia on Sunday 14th April, they will be held on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April in the diaspora; in the Croatian diplomatic-consular missions and outlets across the globe. And while it will undoubtedly be difficult for many prospective voters to travel to the polling booths, which can be quite a distance away from where an individual lives, it is hoped that many will make the effort, turn-up and vote.

So, what does one need to do to register for voting at these elections?

•    If you are a citizen of the Republic of Croatia living abroad and you have a registered address of domicile (prebivalište) in Croatia you must fill in and send THIS FORM to your nearest Croatian Embassy or Consulate by email, fax or post BY 3rd of April 2013;
•    If you are a citizen of the Republic of Croatia living abroad and you do NOT have a registered address of domicile (prebivalište) in Croatia you must fill in and send THIS FORM to your nearest Croatian Embassy or Consulate by email, fax or post BY 3rd of April 2013.

Similar Forms are valid for voters living in Croatia and the “nadležno tijelo” (authorized or competent body) which needs to be filled in on the Form of the request for enrollment in the Electoral Roll is your nearest Croatian Embassy or Consulate if you live abroad. If you live in Croatia and you do not know where to take/send your enrollment (it’s usually the local Council) a good place to ask is the Ministry of Administration or search its website.

The Republic of Croatia European Parliamentary Elections Act – General and Basic Provisions

“Article 8.
Elections shall be conducted at polling stations in the Republic of Croatia and in the seats of diplomatic missions and consulates of the Republic of Croatia.
Article 9.
Voters with registered domicile in the Republic of Croatia shall vote at polling stations in the territory of the Republic of Croatia determined according to their registered domicile.
Voters of other European Union member states shall vote at polling stations in the territory of the Republic of Croatia determined according to the location of their registered domicile or temporary residence.
Voters who have registered domicile in the Republic of Croatia but who are in service in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia on the election date, voters who are serving in peace missions of the United Nations on the election date, voters who, as crew members on maritime and riverine vessels sailing under the Croatian flag outside of its borders and incarcerated voters shall vote at special polling stations designated in compliance with the provisions of this Act.
Voters who have registered domicile in the Republic of Croatia and who are outside of the borders of the Republic of Croatia shall vote in the seats of diplomatic missions and consulates of the Republic of Croatia with prior registration or confirmation for the purpose of voting outside of their place of domicile.
Voters who do not have registered domicile in the Republic of Croatia shall vote in the seats of diplomatic missions and consulates of the Republic of Croatia”.

The fact that there does not seem to be an option for “Postal votes” when it comes to these Croatian elections is most disappointing for those living abroad and at great distances from the diplomatic or consular missions. It almost seems a mockery of democracy when the relevant legislation about voting gives everyone the right to vote and yet does seemingly absolutely nothing in ensuring access to voting is made relatively easy for those who, without postal voting, actually cannot vote due to distance from polling booths or physical disability… Yes, it seems there is a great amount of work still outstanding in actually living the full  democracy in and for Croatia.
Good luck and make your mark! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Comments

  1. The unfortunate thing is that there are going to be too many candidates, with egos bigger than intellects, and again 30% of the vote will be wasted and more Serbs will go to Brussels representing Croatia.

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    • Yes you are right Zeljko, there is most probably going to be a large number of candidates but the good thing is that the mandate for those elected will really be a “test run” of maturity and it will be a short mandate as EU Parliament regular elections are up in 2014. Being a member of EU Parliament is quite a different “kettle of fish” than being a member of a Parliament in one’s own country and many will be tested for their knowledge, ability and astuteness in performing their job. Above all knowledge of how democracy works is paramount.

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  2. This is a story about a land of a thousand islands, her magical nature and rich heritage, her great Men whose great deeds have forever etched the name of Croatia in large letters on the map of the world. This is a story about a land whose beauties have been celebrated since ancient times. From Cassiodorus, who wrote of the divine life led by Patricians on her shores, to Dante, who wrote his immortal verses, enthralled by the epic scenes of the blue expanse, and all the way to George Bernard Shaw, who found his paradise on Earth right here. Croatia has always been a place of true inspiration.

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  3. Democracy gives us all the obligation to register our hard-won votes, it is vital that the peoples’ representatives have a good democratic mandate to lead so I agree with Ina, make your mark, but only if you pay your taxes. Otherwise, you’ll be voting for leaders to spend national tax income derived from other people’s money – that is not democracy.

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    • Well Pavao, I see what you’re saying but in a true democracy the unemployed (who do not pay taxes because they have no income high enough to pay them) also have the right to vote and should practice it.

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  4. How about Mamic for a EP seat…at least it would be interesting if not exciting…

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  5. Vladimir Orsag says:

    How I could vote against Croatia’s entry into EU, when Franjo Tudjman reformed hard core communist failed to delete jugoslav law, which enabled Maticar to strip me of the Croatian citizenship on the basis of renouncing jugoslav citizenship in 1972.

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    • As I said in my post Vladimir Orsag, there is still a great deal of work to be done in Croatia in living the democracy in and for Croatia. It is such a shame that all laws have not been adjusted or made to the fully reflect the reality of history and today. Not only is your citizenship right being ignored (as, I am sure, it is for many who had emigrated) but also the lack of postal vote option seems to indicate that there is no effort being made to ensure access for voting from remote locations (or for those who are physically disabled and cannot travel distances etc.) is made available. Unthinkable in fully functional democracies.

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  6. Friends please watch this video from Slika Hrvatske – Gotovina. It has English sub-titles…still a big job to do to counter Serb agression. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGBTf6gSG8A

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