Croatia to Join Schengen and Eurozone in Next Five Years

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 2, 2018 – The next five years of Croatia’s EU membership will be marked by two goals, joining the Schengen and euro areas, while the Pelješac bridge will symbolise the first five years, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Monday at a conference on the first five years of Croatia’s EU membership. “We have set ourselves two goals on the European journey. Schengen first, the euro area second. They will mark the next five years of membership,” he said.

Croatia can be proud of its accomplishments, the strategic objective has been achieved, a membership in an elite club, a community of the world’s most developed countries, a part of the world where, apart from a couple of exceptions, life is by far the best, he added at the conference.

“There’s no doubt for me. Our EU membership, although it happened a little later than we wished, these five years are a plus in every sense,” Plenković told reporters, saying membership will help raise the standard of living and quality of life, society’s functioning, progress and development. “I think we can be proud of those accomplishments.”

The government will continue to position Croatia as a country which openly looks on the European perspective of its neighbours and Croatia will focus on this while presiding the EU in 2020, he said.

Speaking of the more visible projects within the current financial framework, he singled out the upcoming construction of Pelješac Bridge. “For the next generations it will symbolise what we achieved at the start,” he said, recalling that Croatia would receive a 357 million euro grant for the project. “No other organisation or institution in the world would have given us that money.”

He said the 102 million euro grant for the LNG terminal was also very important as the project would enable Croatia to take a place on Europe’s energy map in an entirely different way.

In her address at the conference, Foreign Minister Marija Pejčinović Burić said the Pelješac Bridge project was something one could not have dreamt of in the late 1990s. She said the single EU market facilitated doing business abroad and access to a market of 500 million people. The market’s importance is best illustrated by the fact that it accounts for 65% of Croatia’s exports, she added.

EU membership has made Croatia part of a very developed network of privileged trade agreements, facilitating exporters’ access to the countries of the Mediterranean, Central America, Africa and the Far East.


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