Croatia is the twenty-seventh country to join the Schengen Area

Join the Schengen Area
Without border control on a Croatia holiday? It will be next year

Croatia attracts beautiful bays, as is the case here on the island of Brac

© Elisabetta Zavoli / Getty Images

The tourist destination, Croatia will be the 27th country to join the Schengen Area next year. For travelers, this means a huge simplification.

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

The interior ministers of the European Union countries unanimously approved this historic step on Thursday, as announced by the Czech Council Presidency. According to the Croatian Border Police, the checkpoints should open at the end of the year, only at airports travelers have to be patient until the end of March for organizational reasons.

The Schengen area has been extended to include Croatia

When traveling within the Schengen Area, people are not systematically screened at country borders, but customs controls are still possible, as well as random checks at borders or in remote areas.

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

After Croatia, with a population of around four million, joins, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia will be the only EU countries where a passport must still be shown 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 country should be especially happy about Croatia’s inclusion in the Schengen Area. According to the Travel Association, 2.4 million vacation trips were made from Germany in 2021. A good 400 thousand people with Croatian citizenship live in Germany.

Sources: Czech Presidency of the European UnionAnd the Ministry of Foreign AffairsAnd the Schengen agreementAnd the German Travel AssociationAnd the Federal Statistical Officeand news agencies DPA and AFP

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