Croatia Gains Momentum on Path to Schengen!

Lauren Simmonds

Croatia’s entry into Schengen is looking ever closer…

Croatia has gained new momentum on its path to Schengen!

Next Wednesday in Strasbourg, the strengthening and expansion of the Schengen zone to include Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania will be discussed.

“I’m glad that the intense lobbying for Croatia to be involved in this debate has had an impact, because we’ve managed to have this debate at the request of my political grouping of S&D! Entry into Schengen is a strategic goal for Croatia, on which we’re actively and successfully working because we expect the accomplishment of [reaching] all of the criteria by the end of next year,” stated Tonino Picula MEP.

Picula welcomed this decision: “I’ve always emphasised the importance of the enlargement of Schengen to [include] Croatia, which has the longest external border in the European Union. By strengthening protection at our external borders, Croatia can contribute to effective migration management and therefore our entry into the Schengen area must not be endangered by bilateral attempts at blockade!”

After the speech on the state of the Union held before the European Parliament, Croatia received encouragement in regard to joining the Schengen zone as soon as possible. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker stressed that along with Bulgaria and Romania, Croatia ”should be allowed to become a full member of the Schengen zone as soon as it meets all of the criteria.”

To briefly recall, for the preparation for entry into Schengen, the Republic of Croatia has used almost all of the money which the European Union made available to it for that purpose. For 120 million euros, vehicles, ships, helicopters for border control, police stations were restored or newly built, thermovision cameras, explosive detectors as well as detection devices to identify with counterfeit documents were purchased.


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