Applications from Bulgaria and Romania were rejected by the EU Home Affairs and Justice Council
The European Council has decided on the full application of the Schengen legislation in Croatia.
Croatia will join the Schengen area on January 1, 2023, the applications of Bulgaria and Romania were rejected by the Council for Internal Affairs and Justice of the European Union. Austria and the Netherlands voted against the entry of these countries.
Vit Rakusan, Minister of the Interior of the Czech Republic:
“I am very pleased that during the Czech Presidency Croatia was able to take two important steps in its European integration by joining both the euro area and the Schengen area. I am sure that these successes will pave the way for others to the Member States that meet the conditions to take the next step in their European journey, and my colleagues and I will continue to work hard so that we can welcome Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen area soon.”
From January 1, 2023, checks on persons at the internal land and sea borders between Croatia and other Schengen countries will be cancelled. Checks at internal air borders will be canceled from March 26, 2023, given the need to coincide with the dates of the IATA summer/winter schedule.
From January 1, 2023, Croatia will also start issuing Schengen visas and will be able to make full use of the Schengen Information System.
Since its accession to the EU, Croatia has applied part of the Schengen legislation, including those relating to external border control, police cooperation and the use of the Schengen Information System.
The remaining parts of the Schengen legislation, including the abolition of internal border controls and related measures, may only become applicable after a unanimous decision of the Council after it has been verified in accordance with the applicable Schengen Validation procedures that they comply with the necessary conditions. In December 2021, the Council concluded that Croatia had fulfilled the necessary conditions.
Now Russians traveling to Croatia will have to apply for Schengen visas instead of national ones. In the current situation, the country's accession to Schengen will not create problems for tourists: the tourist flow is now limited not by theoretical visa difficulties, but by the lack of direct flights.