Croatia: PM Plenković said that the Croatian path to the Schengen area goes as planned

Croatia: PM Plenković said that the Croatian path to the Schengen area goes as planned

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in Brussels on Friday that Croatia has significantly improved the technical protection of the border, invested significantly, to which European Union funds have also contributed, and that 6,500 Croatian police officers have been at the border day and night for several years.

Asked if he expects Croatia’s entry into Schengen to proceed according to the previously announced rhythm, he said that Croatia would do everything on that issue and added that this topic was being discussed at all levels and with all governments.

He stressed that he expected the decision making process on Croatia’s accession to the Schengen area to proceed according to plan.

“I have discussed this matter at all levels, with all governments. I think the momentum is slowly gathering for a decision at the level of the Council of the EU,” Plenković told reporters upon arrival for the continuation of the two-day EU summit.

Plenković said that ongoing talks during the Slovenian EU presidency and the next French presidency would be “crucial for achieving Croatia’s strategic goal – to become a member of the Schengen area.”

Among the topics to be discussed at the summit will be the protection of the EU’s external borders against illegal migration.

Plenković said that also discussed would be several action plans with non-EU countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, to help them improve migration management.

He said that during the discussion on foreign policy matters on Thursday evening he had drawn attention to the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, notably to the existing tension and statements by the Serb member of the state presidency, Milorad Dodik, which destabilise the country.

“Croatia supports a unified Bosnia and Herzegovina, its independence, sovereignty and good functioning. I also made it clear that the EU should help, together with our partners, first of all, the United States, to achieve a timely agreement on electoral legislation so that at next year’s elections the Croats, as one of the three constituent peoples, can be legitimately and equally represented in the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Plenković said.

He said he was pleased with the quality of the discussion on this matter, adding that several leaders had taken part in it.