Croatia to join Schengen on 1 Jan 2023

Croatia to join Schengen on 1 Jan 2023
Photo: Niels Bosman - Unsplash

Der Spiegel – The EU has decided that Croatia will be able to join the Schengen zone on 1 January 2023, but Romania and Bulgaria will not. 

The Croatian EU representation celebrated the decision on Twitter, confirming that their accession to Schengen had been “formally confirmed”. This was followed by confirmation from the Croatian border police that their borders with EU nations will open at the start of the new year. However, for technical reasons, passport controls for people visiting Croatian airports from within Schengen will only be eliminated on March 26th. 

One benefit of this change is that it should make arriving in the country easier for tourists, a particular concern given that visitors have on some occasions been stuck in queues waiting for hours to enter during the summer months. Croatia will also take the significant step of starting to accept the euro as a means of payment from the start of 2023. 

Whilst Croatia has celebrated this step, there is disappointment for Bulgaria and Romania. Their admission to the zone was primarily blocked by Austria, with Vienna pointing to the high level of migration via the Balkan route. Austria’s opposition remained despite the active support of both Germany and the EU Commission for Romania and Bulgaria request to join. 

German Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) said that she struggled to understand Austria’s position, whilst EU Vice-Commissioner Margaritis Schinas said that all three candidate countries “have done what they had to do and are ready to ensure the protection of our borders”. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check out the EuroNews247 website for all your up-to-date European news stories.