Croatia Joining the Schengen Zone in 2023
Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria were waiting to be a part of the passport-free Schengen Zone since 2011. On the 10th of November, the European Parliament voted to lift border controls between the Schengen Area and Croatia, meaning that Croatia will lift all its border controls for the Schengen zone on January 01, 2023, after the country met all the eligibility criteria to be a part of the Schengen zone. Furthermore, from the first of January 2023, Croatia will use the Euro currency instead of the current Kuna which equals 0.13 Euro.
The Schengen Agreement was signed on June 14, 1985. It was named after the village of Schengen in Luxembourg, where France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands initially signed the agreement. Its main purpose was to build a Europe without borders, known as the “Schengen Area”. Since the Schengen Agreement was signed about 37 years ago, 26 countries have joined the borderless area, including 22 EU member states Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Latvia and four non-EU countries Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein. In order to join the Schengen zone, the candidates need to meet the requirements of the Schengen Acquis which is a set of rules and legislation integrated into European Union law, which regulates the abolition of border controls at the internal borders within the Schengen Area, as well as the strengthening of border controls at the external borders. That means a Schengen member has the responsibility of taking care of all Schengen members’ border security. After joining the Schengen zone, Croatia will strengthen her relationship with the EU. Without border controls with the other Schengen countries, transporting goods to and from other European countries will be more economical and convenient for Croatia. Being a Schengen member can also benefit Croatia’s tourism, especially by attracting tourists who currently require a visa to enter Croatia. More people will add Croatia to their travel destination when they are applying for a Schengen visa.
Croatia will also join the Eurozone in 2023. Adopting the Euro may promote foreign trade and investment, as well as get more mutual support from other Euro members such as Germany. Increasing economic ties among other Euro member countries, however, may also lead to a loss of independent monetary policy and national identity.