Croatia has made a giant step toward joining the European Union after voters approved membership in a referendum Sunday.
With almost all the votes counted, officials say 66 percent supported membership. Voter turnout was less than half of eligible voters.
Supporters of EU membership say Croatia’s floundering economy can benefit by entering into a union with its much stronger European neighbors. But opponents note that all of Europe is struggling economically, and they say Croatia could lose some of its sovereignty by joining.
Croatian President Ivo Josipovic called Sunday’s vote a turning point for Croatian history. He said he looks forward to all of Europe becoming his home.
If all current EU members give final ratification to Croatian membership, Croatia would become the 28th member on July 1, 2013.