ZAGREB, October 19, 2019 – Slovenian members of the European Parliament have sent an open letter to current and new EU leaders opposing Croatia’s accession to the Schengen area of passport-free travel, the Večernji List daily reported on Saturday.
The daily says the letter is the newest means of pressure ahead of the European Commission’s decision on Croatia’s compliance with all technical conditions for accession to the Schengen Area, which is expected on October 22.
Slovenian MEPs express reservations about Croatia’s technical and legal capacity to protect the Schengen Area which is why they seek a delay of the decision and ask that the issue be dealt with by the new European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen.
The letter was signed by six Slovenian MEPs, two each from the European People’s Party (EPP), the Socialists and Democrats and the Renew Europe group. Two representatives of Janez Janša’s SDS party, also a member of the EPP, refused to sign the letter.
Croatia’s accession to the Schengen area is a common interest because we are aware of all its benefits, both for Slovenia and the EU, and at the same time its accession should not be a security threat to the EU, the Slovenian MEPs say in their letter but then describe what they consider problematic about it.
“In our opinion, there are very serious reservations regarding Croatia’s technical and legal capacity to protect the Schengen Area as well as its compliance with EU legal standards, notably regarding respect for and implementation of international agreements and judgements,” the Slovenian MEPs say in an indirect reference to the two countries’ border dispute and failed international arbitration on it which Croatia refuses to comply with, says Večernji List.
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