MEPs back Croatia’s Schengen accession

In a vote on November 10, members of the European Parliament endorsed lifting internal border controls between the Schengen free-movement area and Croatia.

In a report adopted 534 in favour, 53 against, and 25 abstaining, the European Parliament approves of Croatia becoming a full member of the Schengen area.

On December 9 2021, the Council confirmed that Croatia had fulfilled all the necessary conditions for the full application of Schengen rules. Now, MEPs urge the Council to continue with the process and adopt a final decision to lift border controls.

To ensure fundamental rights at EU external borders are respected, MEPs urge Croatia to inform the Parliament and Council of how it implemented its action plan for managing EU external borders, and particularly the independent mechanism to monitor the actions of police officers.

Following reports of pushbacks at Croatia’s borders, MEPs want the Commission to assess Croatia’s external border management and fundamental rights aspects (including through on-site visits) as part of the Schengen evaluation programme.

The European Parliament has long advocated for the enlargement of the Schengen free-travel area, which today includes 26 states (all EU member states except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania, plus non-EU members Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein).

In 2018, MEPs stated that Croatia should be admitted into Schengen as soon as it fulfilled the necessary criteria.

On October 18 2022, they also voiced their support for admitting Bulgaria and Romania into Schengen without delay.

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