- Published: 22.10.2019.
Schengen decision another big European success for Croatia, says PM
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Tuesday the European Commission's decision that Croatia met the conditions to join the Schengen Area was another big European success for Croatia, but did not say when he expected Croatia to join.
"This is an important day and yet another big European success for Croatia," he told reporters. "In the technical sense, today we received objective verification, by the only institution in charge, that we are prepared."
The Commission assessed today that Croatia met the conditions to join Schengen. "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," a press release said.
Bulgaria and Romania have had a positive evaluation from the Commission since 2011 but are still not in Schengen because there is no consensus among the member states.
Asked when Croatia would join Schengen, Plenkovic said he "wouldn't speculate on a precise date" but that "it's not realistic" that Croatia will join during its EU presidency in the first half of 2020.
As for Slovenia's possible blockade of Croatia's accession, he said the (border) dispute with Slovenia was "bilateral in nature."
"We will try to separate those (bilateral) topics from this one because this is a topic we should resolve with Slovenia in a different way, through dialogue and by looking for a solution with which both sides will be satisfied."
He said it was a success that Croatia did not have an additional monitoring mechanism for joining Schengen such as Romania and Bulgaria had.