The Ministers of Internal Affairs of the European Union approved on December 8 Croatia’s entry into the Schengen area.
According to this decision, from January 1, 2023, there will be no more passenger checks at the Croatia-Slovenia and Croatia-Hungary borders. Meanwhile, from the spring, the controls for flights from Croatian airports to Schengen countries will be removed.
Within the Schengen area, the free movement of over 400 million EU residents is enabled, along with citizens of countries that are not part of the bloc, but who live or visit EU countries. Most of the EU countries are in the Schengen area, with the exception of Cyprus, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Romania. Non-member states of the bloc, such as Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland, also belong to this area.
The agreement for Croatia to enter Schengen was reached months ago, after no member state had expressed against this decision. However, the approval of the decision was a more complicated procedure because it was insisted that the decision for Bulgaria and Romania be approved at the same time. But some countries, including Austria and the Netherlands, were against Bulgaria’s entry into the Schengen area.
With the entry of Croatia into the free movement area of Schengen, the external borders of this area are moved to the external borders of the European Union, and they are the borders of Croatia with Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.
Croatia has the longest external land border of all the member states of the European Union.