The European Commission said on Tuesday that Croatia fulfils the “necessary conditions” for entry into Europe’s passport-free Schengen area. The Commission took stock of the evaluations carried out since 2016 on the progress made by Croatia to integrate itself into the 26-country free movement area.
“Schengen is one of the most important and tangible achievements of European integration, but its strength depends largely on its inclusiveness. That is why, now that Croatia complies with the necessary measures, we must recognise it,” said the Interior Commissioner and Immigration, Dimitris Avramopoulos.
At a press conference in Strasbourg after the meeting of the College of Commissioners, Avramopoulos stressed that the Brussels recommendation is the result of four years of evaluation that reflects the “continuous efforts” of the most recent EU Member State.
“I salute the efforts and perseverance of Croatia to fulfil all the conditions necessary to join Schengen,” said Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in a statement.
“I trust the member states to make the right decisions so that Croatia will soon become a full member of Schengen”.
In order to join Schengen, a country must prove that it can assume responsibility for controlling the EU’s external borders on behalf of the other member states of the area and issue short sojourn visas, efficiently cooperate with the security authorities of the member states, and apply the Schengen rules such as control of external land, sea and air borders (airports), issuing of visas, police cooperation, protection of personal data, and the need to connect to and use the Schengen Information System and the Visa Information System.