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09 Jun 2018

EP Member: Croatia Will Join Schengen As Soon As It Meets Technical Criteria

Croatia ready to meet all Schengen standards in 2018Croatia will join the Schengen Area as soon as it meets the remaining criteria. Such statement was once again reiterated at the “Stronger Schengen Area” Conference in Dubrovnik, organized by the Croatian Social Democrat Member of the European Parliament Tonino Picula.

MP Picula said to those present at the conference and to the media that Croatia belonged to the Schengen Area, and becoming a part of it would complete its EU membership.

“This is a time of extreme pressure on Schengen, and due to migrations and terrorism many are questioning if the area can be maintained. Croatia must meet the technical standards as well as politically convince the European Council that it should be admitted as soon as possible,” he said.

He also reminded those present that Croatia will have to meet 96 recommendations by the end of this European Commission’s term (in 2019) after its President Jean-Claude Juncker has stated that ”Croatia should be admitted to Schengen as soon as it meets the technical criteria”.

“It will also be necessary to convince those who have political or even bilateral reservations to our accession, however, this must not be a bilateral issue, but a joint European decision,” Picula said.

One of the main goals of the former-Yugoslav country is to become part of the Schengen Area. Croatia is known as a tourist destination with a long coastline on the Adriatic Sea, more than a thousand of islands and its medieval sites.

Alongside Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania, it is one of the only four European Union member states who are not members of the Schengen zone, but are rather considered as prospective members (aside of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland who opted out of joining this area).

Croatia was the last of the four to be admitted into the European Union in 2013. However, it was requested to conduct a technical evaluation, which started on July 2015, in order to be able to join the Schengen Area.

Several state officials have attended the conference held in Dubrovnik this month, including the state secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Andreja Metelko Zgombic, Director of the Intelligence Security Agency (SOA) Daniel Markic, and Chief-of-Police Nikola Milina.

Whereas, Dimitris Avramopolus, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, as well as Mariya Gabriel Commissioner for Digital economy, addressed the conference through video link.

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