Croatia joins euro zone, Schengen

As of January 1 2023, Croatia has become the 20th country to introduce the euro and the 27th to become part of Europe’s Schengen visa zone.

“With Croatia, 20 EU member states and 347 million EU citizens will share the EU’s common currency. As for Schengen, this is the eighth enlargement and the first after 11 years,” the European Commission (EC) said. Croatia became an EU member on July 1 2013.

The euro will deliver practical benefits to Croatian citizens and businesses, the EC said.

“It will make travelling and living abroad easier, boost the transparency and competitiveness of markets, and facilitate trade,” it said.

Euro notes and coins will also become a tangible symbol for all Croatians of the freedom, convenience and opportunity that the EU makes possible, the Commission said.

“Public support for the euro in the euro area remains very strong, with broad majorities of EU citizens believing the euro is a good thing for the EU as a whole and for their own country.”

From January 1 2023, the euro will gradually replace the kuna as the currency of Croatia.

In line with a consistent record of exchange-rate stability, the kuna will be exchanged at a conversion rate of one euro for 7.53450 Croatian kuna.

The two currencies will be used alongside each other for a period of two weeks. When receiving a payment in kuna, the change will be given in euro. This will allow for a progressive withdrawal of the kuna from circulation.

The dual display of prices in kuna and euro became compulsory on September 5 2022 and will apply until December 31 2023.

In order to protect consumers and address their concerns about unjustified price increases in the changeover period, a Business Code of Ethics has been introduced to ensure stability of prices for goods and services by helping businesses to correctly recalculate and display prices, the EC said.

Businesses who sign up to the initiative can display its logo to reassure customers, and will lose this right if found to be in breach of the Code. The Code of Ethics is enforced by the State Inspectorate, which will also monitor the prices of frequently-purchased products and services during the changeover.

Seventy per cent of automatic teller machines (ATMs) in Croatia would distribute euro banknotes already on January 1, and the rest will follow as soon as possible thereafter (within two weeks), the EC said.

(Photo: EC Audiovisual Service)

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