European Commission Says Croatia Is on the Way to Join the Schengen Area

TBILISI(BPI)- The European Commission today asserted that Croatia has taken the necessary measures to ensure that the conditions for the application of all the Schengen rules and standards are met.

According to a press release published by the EU Commission, today in Strasburg it was agreed among commissioners that Croatia will have to continue its work on the implementation of all ongoing actions, with a focus on the management of external borders.

EU Commission  President Jean-Claude Juncker said congratulated Croatia for its effort to meet the essential conditions for Schengen accession, showing his belief that the Member States will take the right steps “for Croatia to become a full Schengen member soon.”

It is only through being united and standing together that we can ensure a stronger Schengen area. Sharing the achievement of Schengen must be our common objective,” he said.

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos also urged for the recognition of Croatia’s efforts to meet the necessary conditions for joining the Schengen Area.

Schengen is one of the greatest and most tangible achievements of European integration. But its strength very much depends on its inclusiveness – now that Croatia has taken the measures to ensure that the necessary conditions are met, we must recognize this,” the Commissioners said adding that once Croatia becomes a full Schengen member, it will contribute to further strengthening the Schengen area and ensure that the EU’s external borders are better protected.

Today’s stance of the EU Commission on the issue of Croatia’s Schengen accession is the result of the evaluations conducted between June 2016 and May 2019, which examined to what extent Croatia is applying the Schengen rules and standards in several areas including data protection, police cooperation, common visa policy, return, the SIS, firearms and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

It also confirms that Croatia has made the necessary efforts to make sure that the criteria for the application of Schengen rules in external border management are met.

Now, on Commission’s invitation, the EU Council has to discuss the former’s communication with the aim of integrating Croatia into the Schengen area along the lines of the 2011 Act of Accession.

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