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Croatia is the 27th country to join the Schengen area

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Joining the Schengen area
Croatia holiday without border control? It will be from next year

Croatia attracts with beautiful bays like on the island of Brac

© Elisabetta Savoli / Getty Images

Holiday destination Croatia will become the 27th country to join the Schengen zone next year. For travelers, this means significant simplifications.

No more waiting in front of passport controls at airports, no more traffic jams at border crossings on motorways: on January 1, Croatia will become the 27th country to join the Schengen area.

As announced by the Czech Council Presidency, the interior ministers of the EU countries unanimously approved this historic step on Thursday. According to the Croatian border police, the barriers should be opened by the end of the year, and only at the airports, for organizational reasons, travelers will have to wait patiently until the end of March.

The Schengen area was expanded to include Croatia

When traveling within the Schengen area, people are not systematically checked at state borders, but customs controls are still possible, such as random checks at the border or hinterland.

Such an agreement was signed on a Franco-German initiative in 1985 in Schengen, Belgium. Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg followed, followed by Spain and Portugal. Later, Italy, Austria, Greece, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Hungary also became part of this region. Non-EU countries such as Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are also members of the Schengen area.

After the accession of Croatia, which has around four million inhabitants, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia will be the only EU countries that will have to show passports at the border. The accession of Romania and Bulgaria failed mainly due to the resistance of Austria and the Netherlands.

Tourists and people with family roots in the Balkan state should be especially happy about Croatia’s inclusion in the Schengen area. According to the travel association, 2.4 million holiday trips from Germany were made there in 2021. A good 400,000 people with Croatian citizenship live in Germany.

Sources: Czech EU Presidency, Ministry of External Affairs, Schengen agreement, German Travel Association, Federal Office of StatisticsNews agencies DPA and AFP

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