Croatia’s inevitable path towards complete European Union integration has taken another step forward with news that entry into Schengen passport-free zone. According to reports in the Croatian newspaper, Vecernji List, Croatia has received unofficial information from the European Commission that it has met all technical requirements for accession to the Schengen area.
Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, is a strong supporter of the EU and is taking Croatia into deeper integration in all levels. He has even set his government a target of meeting all conditions and actually joining the Schengen border-free area by 2020. And next year marks another chapter in Croatia’s European future as the country will assume the control of the rotating six-month presidency of the EU.
Current Schengen zone - Photo Wikipedia
Parallel to entering the Schengen zone the Croatia government pushing hard to adopt the Euro as the official currency and ditch the Kuna. And whilst handing over the fiscal control of the country to the EU might, in the eyes of many experts, not be such a bad step, it looks like it will also happen without the people being able to decide with a referendum. Plenkovic has clearly stated that the people have already had their say on the fate of the Kuna when they voted in a public referendum in January 2012 to join the EU. And all the signs are that Croatia is pushing hard to adopt the Euro by 2023.
All of the member states of the European Union now need to agree on Croatia’s Schengen entry, with the Council of the EU expected to vote in the second half of September.
But entry is far from a forgone conclusion. Slovenia has already indicated that it will bring up unresolved border issues and could block the Schengen path. And just reaching all the conditions clearly doesn’t guarantee entry. Both Romania and Bulgaria completed all conditions in June 2011, but both have been blocked entry with several EU members raising concerns over corruption and organised crime in both Eastern EU members.