14:16 / 08.07.2021.

Author: Nikola Badovinac

EP: Croatia meets all conditions to join Schengen

EU flag

EU flag

Foto: Pixabay / Pixabay

European Parliament adopted on Thursday a resolution that confirms Croatia has met all the conditions to join the Schengen border-free area.

During a visit to Croatia in November 2020, the European Commission reaffirmed that the necessary conditions for the application of the Schengen acquis had been met, read the resolution of the European Parliament that was adopted with 505 votes in favor, 134 against, and 54 abstentions.

All but two Croatian MEPs voted in favor of the resolution. Those two who voted against were an MEP of the European Conservatives and Reformists, Ladislav Ilčić, and independent Mislav Kolakušić.

The Parliament also called on Croatia to address the identified shortcomings, especially in terms of staff training, the number of staff, and the capacity to protect the land border and to persist in a thorough assessment of respect for fundamental rights following repeated accusations by NGOs and the media on abuse, violence, and pushbacks against illegal migrants by border police officers.

In that context, the document welcomes the establishment of independent mechanisms to monitor the actions of police officers towards illegal migrants and applicants for international asylum.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in late May that he expected Croatia's membership in the Schengen area to be on the agenda during Slovenia's presidency of the EU in the second half of this year.

In October 2019, the Commission said that Croatia had met the criteria for joining the Schengen area while in early June it invited EU countries to admit Croatia to the Schengen area.

All EU countries except Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania are members of Schengen, as are four non-EU countries -- Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.

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