The European Commission assessed on Tuesday that Croatia meets the conditions for joining the Schengen Area, and has asked the Council of the EU to include Croatia in the area without internal border controls, news site Total Croatia reported.
“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.
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković welcomed the Commission’s decision that Croatia has met the technical requirements for Schengen Area accession. He declined to speculate on the date when Croatia could enter the visa-free area, but described it as a success that the European Commission had not introduced an additional monitoring mechanism.
Currently, the Schengen Area includes 26 European countries that have officially abolished all passport and other types of border controls at their mutual borders.
Of those 26 members, 22 are part of the European Union: namely, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
The non-EU members covered by the passport-free area are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. Hungary currently forms the southern boundary of the zone.