Even though Croatia became a full member of the European Union in 2013 it is still not part of the Schengen border-free zone. Along with Romania and Bulgaria, which both joined in 2007, and Cyprus, which joined in 2004, Croatia is legally bound by the terms of the EU accession treaty to join the EU border-free zone.
The Croatian MEP, Tonino Picula, recently organised a conference in Dubrovnik to discuss the preparation for Croatia’s entry into the Schengen area and the importance of security was stressed.
“That would make our EU membership complete and enable us to make the most of it. This is a time of extreme pressure on the Schengen area, and due to incoming migration and terrorism many are questioning if the area can be maintained at all. Croatia must meet the technical standards, as well as politically convince the European Council that it should be admitted as soon as possible,” said Picula.
"We have to meet 96 recommendations by the end of this European Commission's term (in 2019) because its President (Jean-Claude) Juncker has stated clearly that Croatia should be admitted as soon as it meets the technical criteria. It will also be necessary to convince those who have political or even bilateral reservations to our accession, however, this must not be a bilateral issue, but a joint European decision,” concluded the Croatian MEP.