The meeting took place after the Czech Republic took over the rotating EU presidency on 1 July.
The Czech Republic has always supported and continues to support Croatia’s admission to the Schengen zone. We are confident that Croatia meets all the criteria. We will do all we can to ensure that the accession process is completed during our presidency and that Croatia becomes a full member of the Schengen zone on 1 January 2023, Fiala said.
The Croatian prime minister praised the Czech presidency programme under the motto “Europe as a Task”.
Europe as a Task: Rethink, Rebuild, Repower are the main priorities of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Plenković said that these priorities fit the present time of challenges, such as the Covid pandemic, which still requires caution and vigilance, and Russia’s terrible aggression against Ukraine and the fallout of the war, including increased prices and inflation pressure.
Plenković said that one of the highlights of the Czech presidency will be the adoption of the decision on Croatia’s entry into the euro area on 1 January 2023.
“We believe that this autumn, under the Czech leadership of the EU, the final decision will be made on Croatia’s entry into the Schengen zone on 1 January 2023,” said Plenković, underscoring that this also meant deeper integration of his country into the EU.
Plenković said that Croatia appreciated the wish of Prague to put emphasis on southeastern European countries during its EU chairmanship.
For us this is particularly important because of Bosnia and Herzegovina, given that we together have advocated that it be granted the status of EU candidate. We expect BiH to implement the reforms, particularly those conducive to ensuring the equality of the Croats as soon as possible, said Plenković.
The Czech and Croatian premiers expressed their satisfaction with bilateral relations and with the activities of the respective minorities in their countries.
Commenting on the well-developed and diversified economic cooperation, Plenković said that the trade between the two countries was close to reaching €1 billion.
The Czech Republic is among the top 15 investors in Croatia, and the Czechs are the second most numerous foreign visitors to Croatia.
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