Croatia’s First Citizen Led Referendum In Dubrovnik This Sunday

Dubrovnik’s citizens will make history this Sunday when they vote in the country’s first ever citizen led referendum on the development of a golf resort above the city on Srđ hill. The referendum comes as a result of an intense campaign by locals, volunteers and environmental associations in February which resulted in the collection of 9,085 signatures (satisfying the requirement of 22.5% of voters signing the petition) supporting a referendum on the golf resort development.

The referendum will ask Dubrovnik citizens ‘”Are you for the adoption of the urban design plan which, along with the construction of the golf course, allows the construction of overnight accommodation (villas, hotels and apartments) on the plateau of the hill Srd?”

The proposed project Golf Park Dubrovnik will consist of, (among other things): an 18 hole golf course, 400 apartments, 240 villas and 2 hotels. While Golf Park Dubrovnik strongly denies the project will lead to the the apartmentalisation of Srđ, many citizens are extremely concerned. The park’s impact on the local water system was also a hot topic with environmental groups suggesting that it would demand 33% of the the water supply from the city’s Ombla source. However a report by the Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection published in March 2013 claims that the park will have ‘no significant impact’ on the supply capacity of the River Ombla.

Regardless of the outcome, the referendum will mark a historic day in Croatia’s political history and demonstrate the power of Dubrovnik citizens’ and the community.