European Parliament Approves Croatia’s Admission To Schengen Zone
The European Parliament has cleared the way for the admission of Croatia to the bloc’s passport-free Schengen zone, leaving the final decision in the hands of the EU’s government leaders.
With a 534-53 majority, the Parliament on 10 November 2022, voted in favor of lifting the remaining border controls between the Schengen area and Croatia. A final decision will now have to be taken by the EU Council, consisting of the EU’s 27 government leaders , which in December last year already confirmed that Croatia had met all criteria to apply for access to the Schengen Area.
“Croatia’s place is in Schengen. Criteria have been met. The European Parliament has given its green light. Now the EI Council must deliver,: European Parliament President Roverta Metsola said in a tweet following the vote.
The Schengen Area is the world’s largest passport-free zone, allowing the unrestricted movement of people between 26 European countries.
Croatia was at war in the early 1990s during the violent break-up of Yugoslavia. The country applied for EUI membership in 2003 and joined the bloc in 2013. That was the last time the EU expanded.
Croatia Kuna and the Euro Currency
In July 2022, EU finance minsters gave Croatia the final approval to adopt the Euro single currency effective 01 January 2023, replacing the Croatian kuna. It is the first expansion of the currency bloc in almost eight years.
Adopting the Euro will offer economic benefits stemming from deeper financial ties with the Euro bloc’s other members and from the European Central Bank’s monetary authority.
Euro entry also has political rewards for Croatia because the shared currency is Europe’s most ambitious project to integrate nations, giving them a place in the EU core. That means a seat at the EU’s top decision-making tables.
How This Will Affect Travel To and From Croatia
Once Croatia is accepted into the Schengen zone, into and out of the country will become seamless with other member countries. This means passport controls will be eliminated once travelers have arrived in a Schengen member country. It also means those travelers who have used Croatia as a non-Schengen safe haven once they have met the 180 day maximum stay in the Schengen zone will no longer be able to do so.