Croatia officially launched, on 3 January, a campaign ahead of its referendum on EU membership, which is scheduled for 22 January. Croatian EU opposition groups are already criticising the late start of the campaign, arguing that 19 days are not enough to open a fair discussion with citizens to explain the pros and cons of the country becoming the EU's 28th member.

As Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic launched the yes' campaign, on 3 January, she emphasised the important role the country's citizens will play in the final decision on the country's EU accession. "It is extremely important to send a message that [EU membership] will depend on the citizens' decision," she said, adding that "if they say no', the whole thing is brought to a halt".

During the 19-day campaign, over two million leaflets are expected to be sent to Croatian households and a special phone line will be opened to answer any questions citizens may have. The aim is to convince the 33% of citizens who...

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