Croatia could be set for yet another referendum. After the Croatian Parliament decided earlier this month that Croats will go to the polls on 1 December to decide the constitutional definition of marriage, signatures for a referendum to amend the Constitution and the Constitutional Law on National Minorities has begun on Sunday in the eastern town of Vukovar..
It has been 3 months since bilingual signs, in latin and Serbian Cyrillic, have been erected on official government buildings in Vukovar, only for them to be ripped down by protestors. With the government just replacing the signs each time one is attacked and destroyed, the Defense of Vukovar group have decided to go down the legal route to remove the bilingual signs once and for good in the city.
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. The referendum question will ask citizens if they are in favour to change the constitution so bilingual rights in local government and public offices only applies in areas where the minority makes up at least 50%.
The initiative needs to collect 450,000 signatures, which they do not think will be a problem, by the 1st of December.