A country popular with Russian tourists has joined the Schengen area since January 1

A country popular with Russian tourists has joined the Schengen area since January 1

Starting from this Sunday, January 1, 2023, Croatia officially became a member of the Schengen area and adopted the euro as its national currency. In honor of Croatia reaching these two milestones, the Commission of the European Union released a statement congratulating the country and stressing the importance of this date, both for Croatia and for the whole of Europe.

“On 1 January 2023, Croatia will adopt the euro as its currency and fully join the Schengen area. This marks an important milestone in the history of Croatia, the euro and the Schengen area, and the EU as a whole,” the statement said.

The area now consists of 27 member states, 23 of which are also EU countries. Meanwhile, the Eurozone currently consists of 19 EU member states with 347 million citizens who have the Euro as their main currency.

Commenting on Croatia's accession to the Schengen area and the transition to the euro, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warmly welcomed Croatian citizens to the borderless zone, noting that border controls between Croatia and the rest of the Schengen area will now be a thing of the past. “From this Sunday, citizens entering and leaving Croatia can start traveling without internal border controls. The expansion of the Schengen area makes us stronger and Croatia can now fully contribute to a more prosperous and sustainable Schengen area,” she said.

She also stressed the importance of Croats joining the 347 million Europeans who use the euro as their currency, calling it a symbolic moment for the eurozone as a whole.

Two more countries are preparing to join, so Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson was the only one who mentioned Romania and Bulgaria in the hope that they will soon also become part of the Schengen area.

“I am proud of the work done by the Commission and Croatia together so that Croatians can benefit from this historic step forward. In this regard, I remain personally committed to having Romania and Bulgaria become members in the near future,” she said.

Recall that Croatia began to apply parts of the Schengen legislation in 2013, when it became a member EU, including those parts of it related to police cooperation, control of external borders and the use of the Schengen Information System.

The parts of the Schengen Agreement, which Croatia will begin to apply from January 1, 2023, include the abolition of internal land and maritime borders between Croatia and other Schengen countries.

For internal air borders, they will be abolished on March 26 to bring the date in line with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) summer/winter time schedule.

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