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Croatia to join the Schengen Agreement in early 2023

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Croatia to join the Schengen Agreement in early 2023

European Council statement on Croatia

«For the first time in more than a decade, the Schengen Area is being enlarged. Ministers have approved Croatia's membership in the commonwealth!», — said the President of the Council of the European Union in a statement. Beginning in early 2023, additional checks for foreigners at all land and sea crossings between Croatia and other Schengen member states will be abolished. Airport checks will stop at the end of March 2023, taking into account the IATA summer and winter schedules. Croatia will issue the appropriate visas and begin using the commonwealth information base as early as the beginning of 2023.

«Croatia hopes that this will bring greater financial security to its citizens and improve living standards. This should stop the rapid rise in inflation and also means that travelers will not have to fear drastic price fluctuations», — Euronews reported.

Decision on Bulgaria and Romania

All countries of the agreement must vote in order to admit a particular state to the Schengen Area. As for the two Balkan countries, Bulgaria and Romania, there is no positive decision on them yet. Although a month earlier the European Commission ruled that the three declared Balkan countries meet the criteria for admission, only Croatia will be able to join in January 2023. The governments of Bulgaria and Romania are expected to make another attempt to become part of the Schengen zone.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis criticized this position, calling the move «inexplicable», «regrettable» and «totally unjustified». According to him, the decision is confusing for the entire European Union. Bulgaria and Romania have been members of the EU since 2007, while Croatia has been a member of the Schengen Area since 2013. The discussion on this issue continues.

Source: Forbes

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