The European Travel Information and Authorisation System is a new visa waiver programme for Europe to be launched in 2022. The Commission confirmed that Croatia continues to fulfil the commitments, linked to the Schengen rules, that it undertook in the accession negotiations. He intends to raise the issue again in 2020, and hopes the topic will be on the EU’s agenda during a planned summit in Zagreb next year. With populism still poised as a major political factor and immigration once again on the rise, many of these security measures are unlikely to be rolled back. Despite the European Commission’s recommendation, France blocked membership talks with North Macedonia and Albania this past October, and may do the same to Croatia’s bid to join Schengen and the eurozone. Croatia applied for EU membership in 2003and the decision was granted in the following year by the European Council. notes Marco Stefan, a research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). “Saving Schengen is a race against time and we are determined to win that race”, Donald Tusk said back in 2016. Moreover, opening borders is good for trade, while closing them would be horrifically expensive. Orban’s embrace of aggressive, anti-migrant rhetoric directly conflicts with the open border policy that Schengen allows. This addition would be the first expansion of the free-travel zone since Switzerland was admitted more than ten years ago in 2008. Croatia became an EU member in 2013 but to join the Schengen area it had to convince Brussels that it was able to effectively manage the bloc’s external border, a particularly sensitive issue since Europe’s 2015 migrant crisis. October 17, 2018. The Balkan’s approval is a sore point for these two states, however, as Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU six years earlier than Croatia but are still waiting to be allowed into the area. Design and Development: AlbertoDavila.es. The Slovenian Prime Minister also pointed out that the country needs to step up on combating migration challenges, considering that in 2019 alone, neighbouring Slovenia received more than 12,000 migrants entering from Croatia’s border. “The future Schengen accession of Croatia, but also Bulgaria and Romania is all the more relevant and necessary given the migratory and security challenges of today”, continued Avramopoulos. Membership of the Schengen area is one of Croatia's foreign policy priorities. Joining Schengen is no easy feat. Required fields are marked *, Amid criticism, #UK PM @BorisJohnson calls the bill a “legal safety net” to “protect against extreme interpretation… https://t.co/xZRVpb03YK, Failure to agree on new proposals by October will lead to a hard #Brexit, with #Britain facing potential shortage o… https://t.co/dQKXzNTmMK, Last week the #UK announced its intent to breach its Withdrawal Treaty with the #EU as it seeks to renegotiate… https://t.co/G2VUr71FB1, SouthEUSummit © Copyright 2021, All Rights Reserved. He has even set his government a target of meeting all conditions and actually joining the Schengen border-free area by 2020. The Commission confirmed that Croatia continues to fulfil the commitments, linked to the Schengen rules, that it undertook in the accession negotiations. The Balkan region remains a popular route for migrants into Europe. Slovenia, who joined the EU in 2004, was also less than pleased with the EU Commission’s approval and called Juncker’s endorsement just before the end of his term a “political decision”. Hungary provides a stark example, with its Prime Minister Viktor Orban garnering political capital by touting his new razor-wire border fence with Serbia. Lana is a freelance journalist based in New York City. Despite the European Commission’s recommendation, France blocked membership talks with North Macedonia and Albania this past October, and may do the same to Croatia’s bid to join Schengen and the eurozone. Alternatively, there is evidence that Croatia has been overzealously policing their borders and deporting migrants back to Bosnia against EU conventions. Paris understands Croatia’s wish to be admitted to the Schengen area, France’s Foreign and Europe Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said during his visit to Zagreb. The European Commission’s October 22, 2019 conclusion that Croatia is ready to join the Schengen Area wilfully brushes over evidence of violent pushbacks of … Schengen accession: Croatia on the way to join the Schengen Area Wednesday, 23 October, 2019 The Commission is today reporting on Croatia's progress in meeting … Slovenia blocked Croatia’s attempt to join over long-standing border issues, particularly the Piran Bay boundary. Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, is a strong supporter of the EU and is taking Croatia into deeper integration in all levels. Liechtenstein joined the Schengen Area on 19 December 2011. 2. The Schengen Area consists of 26 states, including four which are not members of the European Union (EU). Schengen “does not work anymore”, Macron stated. We have done a lot since the 2015 crisis”, she added. Croatia joined the EU on 1 July 2013, is also legally bound to eventually join the Schengen Area, implementation has been delayed. If that happens soon, Croatia could be a part of Schengen by early 2020 and join the ERM-2 next year as well. “Control over the EU’s external borders is the most demanding aspect of our preparations”, the Croatian Interior Secretary Terezija Gras told Reuters earlier this week. Croatia declared its readiness to start the Schengen evaluation process in all relevant policy areas in March 2015. There is also the issue of Bulgaria and Romania, which have both been awaiting the Council's decision to join Schengen for five years now. The European Commission may soon officially announce that Croatia has met all technical criteria for accession to the Schengen Area. French President Emmanuel Macron declared earlier this year that Schengen was not well suited to handle the challenges posed by mass migration – an issue he called the “second great European struggle” after climate change. Once it becomes a full Schengen member, it will contribute to further strengthening the Schengen area and ensure that the EU's external borders are better protected.”. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful. Croatia will need to continue working on the implementation of all ongoing actions, in particular its management of the external borders, to ensure that these conditions continue to be met. Yet, Schengen is not the problem, it is the solution. Your email address will not be published. The European Council would still need to sign off on Croatia’s accession. A report from the Bertelsmann Foundation estimated that the reintroduction of permanent border controls would lead to a growth loss of 470 billion euros in total for the EU until 2025. However, Croatia’s latest bid to join the Schengen Area has received strong support from other member states, chief among them Finland , which has formally announced its backing. The Commission is today reporting on Croatia's progress in meeting the necessary conditions to join the Schengen area. Croatia should do more to prevent illegal migration if it wants to join the Schengen Area, warned Slovenian Caretaker Prime Minister Miro Cerar on Tuesday, and added that Croatia … EU giving Croatia credit for the protection of the Schengen external borders. Ressler therefore believes that "a potential delay in Croatia's accession would not be good for anyone because the situation with reforms will be long-lasting." “I believe Croatia is ready to join the ERM-2”, Juncker said. The country officially applied to join on 1st July 2015 (the two year anniversary of joining the EU), but it is still not yet part of the Zone. “We regret the decision of some countries which didn’t support launching the accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania because we strongly pushed for launching the negotiation process”, Radman said, speaking against France’s anti-enlargement position. Privacy Statement | Terms and Conditions The Croatian Governmentwill hope that the process of joining the Schengen will be quicker than the length of time it took them to join the EU. This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. in International Conflict from the London School of Economics and Political Science. EU support, however, is not guaranteed. “It’s an area that comes with freedoms and privileges but also with great responsibilities, joining this club is not something that we take lightly…”, said Greek Commissioner Dimitri Avramopoulos about the European Commissions’ recent approval. While Croatia, which joined the EU on 1 July 2013, is also legally bound to eventually join the Schengen Area, implementation has been delayed. “This is why I trust the member states will take the right steps for Croatia to become a full Schengen member soon.”. Humanitarian groups estimate that there are over 5,500 people seeking access from the Bosnian border. They may also need to specify Croatia as their point of arrival into Schengen if it is their first destination in the travel area. She has worked as an analyst, reporter, and editor, covering extremism, culture, economics, and democracy. Sloveniasubsequently accepted the ruling of United … Check out their recommendation below. southEUsummit.com offers its visitors a complete panorama of EU affairs (with a regional focus on France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Malta). The European Commission considers that, based on the results of the Schengen evaluation process initiated in 2016, Croatia has taken the measures needed to ensure that the necessary conditions for the full application of the Schengen rules and standards are met. She has a M.Sc. Croatia previously bid to join Schengen in 2009, but this was blocked by its neighbor, Slovenia, over a border dispute. The European Commission has announced that Croatia is finally eligible to join the Schengen zone, the EU’s passport-free travel area.. Six years after the Balkan nation joined the European Union and after being examined by the Commission for the past 4 years, it has been determined that Croatia has taken the necessary measures to ensure the security of the EU’s external border. The Commission also today confirms that Croatia continues to fulfil the commitments, linked to the Schengen rules, that it undertook in the accession negotiations. The Commission is today reporting on Croatia's progress in meeting the necessary conditions to join the Schengen area. Six years after Croatia joined the European Union, the Balkan nation is getting a green light from the European Commission to join the bloc’s passport-free Schengen area. Schengen accession: Croatia on the way to join the Schengen Area. President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “I commend Croatia for its efforts and perseverance to meet all the necessary conditions to join Schengen. Switzerlandwas allowed to participate in the same manner in 2008. If Croatia is approved to join Schengen it will be the first country to do so since Lichtenstein joined the zone in 2011. This response would be a major contrast to the Balkan’s pro-EU-enlargement stance, which Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman recently spoke in favour of. The European Commission said it backs Croatia to become part of the EU's passport-free Schengen Area, stating that the country has taken the necessary measures to join… Croatia is a parliamentary republic in which the head of government - the prime minister - and the head of state - the president - represent the executive power and the state at home and abroad. Discover every day all the information live on southEUsummit.com, the premium print and digital publication for the South EU Summit. If Schengen perishes, the Europe of citizens that we have today will vanish.”, Your email address will not be published. Subscribe to our daily news digest. Croatia should do more to prevent illegal migration if it wants to join the Schengen Area, warned Slovenian Caretaker Prime Minister Miro Cerar on Tuesday, and added that Croatia … If this decision is supported by fellow EU members, the country will become the newest member of the passport-free travel zone in the near future.. The European Commission considers that Croatia has taken the measures needed to ensure that the necessary conditions for the full application of the Schengen rules and standards are met. Croatia still needs to attain approval from all member states to join either of these measures. We kindly ask you to take a few minutes to read and understand them. FILE - A Croatian border crossing is seen at Bregana, Croatia, July 1, 2013. EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos told a news conference in Strasbourg that “Croatia has taken the measures to ensure that the necessary conditions are met (to join Schengen).”. STRASBOURG, 22 October 2019 – The European Commission said today that Croatia has met the conditions for joining the Schengen Area and asked the Council of the EU to include Croatia in the area without internal border controls, the European Commission said in a press release. The Parliament holds legislative power and also controls the executive. Sharing the achievement of Schengen must be our common objective. “We have already fully equipped our border with Serbia and now we’re doing it on the border with Bosnia.”. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. ETIAS is not a visa, it as an electronic travel authorisation for travellers from visa-exempt third countries crossing an external Schengen border. The Schengen Agreement was created in 1985 and is named after the … Croatia. “We regret that the European Commission decided on such an important matter, the assessment of Croatia’s preparedness to join Schengen just before the end of its term and that it adopted a political decision”, Sarec remarked. “We have shown very clearly that we are up to the job, we have one of the strongest border police forces in Europe. These changes are sure to provide a major boost to the Croatian tourism sector, which accounts for nearly one-fifth of its economic output. One response to “France ‘understands’ Croatia’s wish to join Schengen” musicmaster says: 15/01/2021 at 11:55 Might as Well Try It, European Recovery Package Rewrites the Rules, Portugal: Tourism, Golden Visas, and Coronavirus, France Becomes the First Country to Ban Production of Fossil Fuels, Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Willing and Able Partners in the Regeneration of Greece, Maltese Economy Primed for Strong Recovery. “I commend Croatia for its efforts and perseverance to meet all the necessary conditions to join Schengen”, Juncker said in a statement. The Commission is today reporting on Croatia’s progress in meeting the necessary conditions to join the Schengen area. Twenty-two out of 28 EU member states participate; those who do not are legally obliged to join the zone at some point in the future. The European Commission considers that, based on the results of the Schengen evaluation process initiated in 2016, Croatia has taken the measures needed to ensure that the necessary conditions for the full application of the Schengen rules and standards are met. Croatia joined the EU on 1 July 2013, is also legally bound to eventually join the Schengen Area, implementation has been delayed. The decision to allow Croatia to join the Schengen area must be upheld by all EU governments. The European Commission has given its formal approval for Croatia to join the EU Schengen area. In his 2017 State of the Union Address, President Juncker expressed his unequivocal support for Croatia becoming a full Schengen member once all the necessary conditions were met. Prime Minister Plenković has set his government a target for Croatia to join the area by 2020, when the country assumes the rotating six-month presidency of the EU. “These controls are even in place at borders between Schengen members, such as France and Spain”. A report was published last year about the Schengen area’s dysfunctions, with members of the European Parliament concluding that internal checks are still in place because “we are paying the price of problems that are outside the scope of Schengen, such as asylum policy”, But Carlos Coelho, a Portuguese member of the European People’s Party and lead author of the study, holds a different stance, writing: “The Schengen area is one of the greatest achievements of the European Union. The Republic of Croatia hopes to join the border-free Schengen Area by 2020, due to expectations to meet the technical criteria by the end of this year. Croatia hopeful it will join the Schengen Area by 2020. “We must profoundly rethink our development policy and our migration policy, even if it is a Schengen with fewer states.”. Today’s report takes stock of the progress made during this evaluation process in all relevant areas and confirms the continued fulfilment of commitments undertaken by Croatia during its accession negotiations to the EU. Bordering the Adriatic Sea, the touristic country of Croatia – with its diverse landscapes and idyllic beaches – joined the EU back in 2013. However, border and immigration issues were a complication and slowed the process. Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. In March 2015, Croatia's then Interior Minister Ranko Ostojić said that his country was ready to join the Schengen Area. Two of the non-EU members – Iceland and Norway – are part of the Nordic Passport Union and are officially classified as 'states associated with the Schengen activities of the EU'. If that happens soon, Croatia could be a part of Schengen by early 2020 and join the ERM-2 next year as well. We recently published a revised version of our, France and Spain Struggle Under the Second Wave, Insurance to Boost Tourism? STRASBOURG, 22 October 2019 – The European Commission said today that Croatia has met the conditions for joining the Schengen Area and asked the Council of the EU to include Croatia … President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker announced “I would like the European Commission to give a recommendation before the end of our term in office for Croatia’s Schengen zone accession”, after successful talks with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. We recently published a revised version of our Privacy Statement and Terms and Conditions. On 22 October 2019, the European Commission backed Croatia to join the Schengen Area, a preliminary stage for full accession into the Schengen … If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. Croatia is not currently one of the 22 EU Member States of the Schengen Area. De facto, the Schengen Area also includes three European micro-states – Monaco, San Marino and the … The forthcoming accession of Croatia to the Schengen Area, up to now consisting of 26 European states (without Croatia), should allow EU citizens to cross the border without showing a passport or passing any border controls. The area is named after the original 1985 Schengen Agreement signed in Schengen, Luxembourg, and is made up of 26 European countries that have officially abolished passport and other border controls. Six years later, and four full years after applying to enter Schengen, the European Commission is ready to welcome the Balkan into the area. 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