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, the Commission said on October 22.
“Croatia will need to continue working on the implementation of all ongoing actions, in particular its management of the external borders, to ensure that these conditions continue to be met,” the Commission said.
The Commission confirmed that Croatia continues to fulfil the commitments, linked to the Schengen rules, that it undertook in the accession negotiations.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “I commend Croatia for its efforts and perseverance to meet all the necessary conditions to join Schengen.
“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. This is why I trust that member states will take the right steps for Croatia to become a full Schengen member soon,” Juncker said.
European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: “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 recognise this.
“Once it 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.”
In his 2017 State of the Union Address, Juncker expressed his unequivocal support for Croatia becoming a full Schengen member once all the necessary conditions were met.
While the European Commission had already successfully evaluated and confirmed the full implementation of the Schengen rules in the areas of data protection, police cooperation, common visa policy, return, the Schengen Information System (SIS), firearms and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, the October 22 communication also confirmed that Croatia had taken the necessary measures to ensure that the conditions for the application of Schengen rules in the field of external border management are met.
“Croatia will need to continue working to ensure the consistent implementation of all ongoing actions in this field,” the Commission said.