Croatia to Join Schengen Zone by Second Half of 2024
In four years, Croatia successfully completed the Schengen evaluation procedure. It is reasonable to expect that Croatia would join the Schengen Zone by the second half of 2024, the country’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenković stated.
The Prime Minister emphasized that by that time, besides the Schengen Zone, Croatia would also be part of the Eurozone.
In October 2019, the European Commission concluded that Croatia had met all the technical requirements to enter the Schengen Zone. However, the European Union parliament has continuously criticized Croatia for the brutal treatment of migrants by the police authorities.
Last year, Croatia was accepted to the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II), which is one of the key steps towards the Eurozone.
Effects of the Pandemic
According to PM Plenković, due to the Coronavirus pandemic financial crisis, the Eurozone members could continue suspending their own rules for fiscal discipline, “while those on the path to join the euro could not rely on such easy self-help tricks.”
PM Plenković, while regretting that the country had “stepped away from consolidation and sound public finances” to halt the economic damage provoked by the virus, stressed that the government would pursue two goals.
“Using the recovery fund, the EU budget, and private investment to generate growth. And the other one: Go back to the framework of 2017-2019, when my government achieved a budget surplus,” Croatia’s Prime Minister stressed.
Plenković also met with the European Parliament President David Sassoli, whom he thanked for the continuous support that he gave to its country in order to become a member of the Schengen Zone.
Croatia’s PM stressed that its country supports its neighbouring countries in their way to become members of the European Union, emphasizing that Croatia will do everything to accelerate the process. He also added that “we want to help everyone go to the European Union together.”
However, Slovenia’s Interior Minister Aleš Hojs recently stressed that he was not optimistic about the support of European Union countries for Croatia to join the Schengen borderless area.
The minister has stressed that he does not expect that the Portuguese presidency would put the issue on the agenda once again. However, he emphasized that he had no problems “putting it on the agenda during Slovenia’s EU presidency.”
For several years now, Croatia has been attempting to become a member of the Schengen Zone. Despite the continuous confirmations that the country has fulfilled all the needed requirements, such a process has not been completed yet.
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