The Headquarters for the Defence of Croatian Vukovar, an initiative aimed at removing Serbian cyrillic alphabet signs from official buildings, gathered more than 650,000 signatures which were presented to parliament back in December in an attempt to pose a referendum question to all citizens to see if they were in favour of changing the constitution so bilingual rights in local government and public offices only applied in areas where the minority makes up at least 50%. The Constitutional Court ruled on Tuesday that there will be no referendum on the matter.
The Constitutional Law on the Rights of Ethnic Minorities in Croatia allows for ethnic minorities, where they made up more than a third of a city’s population, to be entitled to have their language used for official purposes. Around 35% of Vukovar’s population is made up of Serbian nationals according to records, but that number is disputed. Bilingual signs, in latin and Serbian Cyrillic, were first erected on official government buildings in Vukovar last September.