Earlier on Wednesday the European Commission called for the enlargement of the Schengen area to include Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania, which have met all technical criteria for membership.
“Schengen’s future must be marked by the expansion to those EU Member States that are not yet part of the Schengen area,” the EC said while presenting the strategy for making the Schengen area stronger and more resilient.
Božinović recalled that Croatia had met 281 requirements in eight different segments concerning the membership criteria.
The minister is confident that Croatia will be admitted to the Schengen area in the next 12 months.
He said that he was glad to see that in Europe awareness was being raised about the importance of accession of Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria.
40,000 EU Digital COVID certificates issued in Croatia since first day of issuance
Since yesterday, when the issuance of EU Digital COVID certificates started in Croatia, as many as 40,000 such travel passes have been issued.
Božinović said that Croatia was among the first EU countries to make this system operational.
The minister, who visited the Bregana border crossing to get acquainted with the functioning of the system of checking those certificates, said that it took only 10 seconds to check those certificates.
One million kuna has been invested in this project, which included IT solutions, the necessary equipment of border crossings to be able to read the codes from the certificates, and other equipment for the Croatian Health Insurance Agency (HZZO), he said.
Croatia tapped EU funds for this purpose, Božinović said at Bregana.
ENTER Croatia application available to people travelling to Croatia
The minister said that people traveling to Croatia can fill in the ENTER Croatia application which will also facilitate passage across the border.
New, relaxed rules for arrivals in Croatia
As of today, some relaxed rules go into force for arrivals in Croatia, including a negative PCR test for coronavirus not older than 72 hours, while travellers who have received at least one vaccine dose at least 22 days before their arrival do not need to self-isolate.
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