Croatia Expects To Be Part of Schengen Zone

Croatia Expects To Be Part of Schengen Zone

Croatia expects to overcome the last formal obstacles in its quest to join the European Union’s visa-free travel zone before the end of the year.

Croatia is seeking to join the Schengen area to boost its tourism-dependent economy and ease passage for the more than 10 million Europeans who travel to Croatia each year.

Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovichas stated that the country has met all the criteria needed to become a member of the Schengen zone.

“Croatia has fulfilled all the criteria, and is ready to provide additional clarification on that to anyone who seeks it so that we can enter on Jan. 1,”

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovichas

After assessing Croatia’s readiness on criteria including defending its border and controlling immigration, a European Parliament committee is expected to deliver a positive opinion on Croatia’s entry in the coming weeks. The final decision rests with the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council.

Plenkovic also said his government supports fellow EU members Bulgaria and Romania in their efforts to join the world’s largest visa-free regime at the same time alongside Croatia.

Romania and Bulgaria satisfied the technical criteria for Schengen entry years ago, but some EU members have expressed reluctance over concerns over the countries’ ability to curb graft and uphold the rule of law. Experts are set to visit the two Balkan countries in the coming weeks to reassess their readiness. 

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