European Union governments agreed on Thursday for Croatia to join the bloc's passport-free Schengen travel area after Zagreb convinced Brussels that it was able to effectively manage its section of the bloc's external borders, APA reports citing Reuters.
The step for Croatia, which became an EU member in 2013 and also wants to join the single-currency euro zone, has long been a sensitive issue due to migration.
"Croatia is ready," European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson told a news conference after agreement was reached among the bloc's interior ministers. The Commission had recommended Croatia's inclusion into Schengen in October 2019.
Some non-governmental groups say Zagreb has been over zealous in showing the EU it can stop undocumented migrants crossing into the bloc in order to join Schengen. Croatia is likely to benefit from increased tourism when border checks into the rest of the bloc are removed.