Europe’s passport-free travel region will welcome Croatia, but Romania and Bulgaria are left out.
EU countries voted today on whether to admit the three countries into the so-called Schengen zone – an agreement between countries to remove border controls for travelers between their zones.
Croatia received unanimous support from the 26 Schengen member states.
Again, Austria He blocked Romania and Bulgaria, citing a lack of preparation. The Netherlands supported Romania’s offer, but opposed Bulgaria’s offer.
“We need more time,” Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said earlier this week.
“There are currently 75,000 undocumented illegal immigrants in Austria – which means they have crossed an external border. EU border and went to Austria. This needs to be resolved first.”
Croatia will also start using the euro from January 2023. If you’re planning a trip to the country next year, here’s what you need to know.
Do you need a passport to enter Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria?
Croatia has been part of the European Union since 2013 and Romania and Bulgaria since 2007. But so far none Schengen area.
This means a passport Even when coming from a country, an identity card or identity card was required to enter these countries. Schengen area.
It currently covers 26 countries, including 22 EU member states and around 420 million citizens.
From 1 January 2023, Croatia will abolish border controls with other Schengen countries.
When will Romania and Bulgaria be considered for the Schengen area?
Romania and Bulgaria They have been waiting for approval for over ten years.
Today Holland He voted against Bulgaria’s bid to join, citing unaddressed rule of law concerns and pending pieces of legislation in the fight against corruption and organized crime.
Bulgaria, which has an interim government since August, disputed these allegations and said the opposition had nothing to do with the Schengen criteria.
Speaking to Euronews at the end of the meeting, Bulgarian Interior Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev said, “The two member states have expressed their reservations, but they have no particular concerns about relations with Schengen.” skeptical partners
“argument Austria We must combine our efforts so that Schengen does not work and that Schengen works as it should, and then put it in Bulgaria and Romania. Until then, Bulgaria is not responsible for internal problems in Austria.”
European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said the Commission will remain “optimistic” and ensure that membership takes place before her term ends.
“When we unite in the EU we are very strong, we can achieve a lot,” Johansson told reporters. “We are not united when it comes to the participation of Romania and Bulgaria and that makes us very weak and that upsets me too.”
What currency does Croatia use?
Currently, visitors Croatia They will have to exchange their currency, as the country will continue to use its own currency, the kuna, until January next year. Currently, one Croatian kuna is worth around €0.13.
But from next year Croatia will start using the euro. The country joins 19 other countries that use the currency on the block.
The Eastern European country hopes this will bring more financial security and raise the standard of living for its citizens.
It should help rein in rising inflation, meaning travelers can expect less dramatic fluctuations in prices.