We expect to enter Schengen during 2022

Photo /Vijesti/2021/srpanj/12 srpnja/VRH_8979 (1).jpg

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in parliament on Monday, submitting a report on European Council meetings in the past six months, that he expected Croatia to enter the Schengen Area in 2022.

"I have publicly said a number of times that we expect it to be during 2022," he told Peđa Grbin of the opposition SDP.

Grbin asked Plenković if and when Schengen would be enlarged and what the position of the member states was, given Slovenian Interior Minister Aleš Hojs's statement that it was not certain that Croatia's accession would be on the agenda in the next six months.

Plenković said the new Schengen strategy, which the European Commission published early in June, clearly stated the Commission's position that the Schengen Area should be completed with the inclusion of Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania.

He said Hojs's statement was "generic in character" and that no country chairing the Council of the EU would put on the agenda a topic as sensitive as enlargement if there was no consensus.

"We will bring it to the Council when all the elements have matured. We'll bring it in partnership with the presiding country."

Step forward in Slovenian statements

Plenković told Grbin there was a "huge step forward" in statements by Slovenian premiers and ministers.

"When did you clearly hear, until this Slovenian government, from the prime minister, now even the president and the ministers, that Slovenia is 100% for Croatia's Schengen membership? That's key and that's what's essential."

Although the opposition mostly criticised the government's measures during the pandemic and the economic downturn, Nino Raspudić of Bridge commended it for not imposing too strict measures and a long lockdown.

Save your apologias for (the president), not the government, said Plenković.

Text: Hina