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croatia_view
(03/08/08) -

Fishing Rights Trump EU Accession for Croatians

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Most people in Croatia would shun access to the European Union (EU) if this entailed losing the right to control fishing waters in the Adriatic Sea, according to a poll by Metron published in Vecernji List. 56 per cent of respondents agree with this rationale, while 33.8 per cent disagree.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Most people in Croatia would shun access to the European Union (EU) if this entailed losing the right to control fishing waters in the Adriatic Sea, according to a poll by Metron published in Vecernji List. 56 per cent of respondents agree with this rationale, while 33.8 per cent disagree.

In 1991, Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia. The country became an official candidate for EU membership in June 2004, and began its accession talks in October 2005. The Croatian government is looking at 2009 as a possible entry date.

On Jan. 1, Croatia created the Protected Ecological Fishery Zone (ZERP) in the Adriatic Sea, defying the wishes of the EU. Croatia has explained ZERP as a necessity to preserve fishing stocks and reduce pollution, but EU members Italy and Slovenia say this affects their own fishing interests. Both countries say that Croatia will have to share the ZERP zone with them if it intends to join the EU.

On Feb. 25, Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader said he has called for a meeting with representatives from the EU, Italy and Slovenia to discuss the issue but has received no response, adding, "We have been waiting for some two months an answer to my proposal for a quadrilateral meeting during which we would outline certain solutions. (…) We believe these solutions are good for both Slovenia and Italy and would not put into question Croatia’s right to proclaim the zone."

Polling Data

Do you support or oppose Croatia’s accession to the European Union (EU) if the country had to give up its right to control fishing in the Adriatic Sea?

Support

33.8%

Oppose

56.0%

Not sure

10.2%

Source: Metron / Vecernji List
Methodology: Interviews with 900 Croatian adults, conducted on Feb. 28 and Feb. 29, 2008. No margin of error was provided.