Schengen. Croatia and Romania make up a team

Croatian-Slovenian border point at Pasjak. , behind FIume. Photo by Goran Zicovic

“The expansion of the Schengen Area, which Croatia and Romania are preparing to enter on January 1, 2023, is in the interest of the European Union, as it will help to ensure security and control of illegal immigration at the borders”: this is what it was announced jointly by the heads of diplomacy of Croatia and Romania . The meeting, which was held in Bucharest, was attended by Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grelic Radman and his Romanian counterpart, Bogdan Aurescu. The summit was held prior to the meeting of foreign ministers of NATO member states.
Orescu said, “The expansion of the Schengen area will strengthen the external borders of the European Union from threats to the internal security of the European Union.” It goes without saying that both Bucharest and Zagreb are eagerly awaiting the decisions regarding the expansion of the borderless region that will be taken at the session of the Justice and Home Affairs Council of the European Union scheduled for December 8 and 9. Jordan Grelic-Radmann limited himself to saying in this regard that Croatia expects a positive decision for itself, as well as for Romania and Bulgaria.
On the other hand, the European Commission has already declared that it has an interest in welcoming the three countries to the Schengen area, even if there are some concerns about the control of Romania and Bulgaria at the external borders, which according to some EU countries are not doing enough to counter the phenomenon of irregular entry into the union. , and thus may one day not be sufficiently committed to controlling the border-free zone, where the free movement of people applies. However, Zagreb and Bucharest are convinced, as Bogdan Aurescu pointed out, that their entry into the Schengen Area is part of the solution that the European Union needs to better manage the migration phenomenon. The two countries also work closely with regard to membership in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
During yesterday’s meeting in Bucharest, there was also talk of how this year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Croatia and Romania. Grelic Radman said he was satisfied with the bilateral relations between the two countries. The minister explained that there are no open cases between Croatia and Romania and that there is a high degree of protection for minorities in both countries.
Finally, the sentence from the Minister on the situation in Ukraine could not be missing. “We are also united in being on the right side of history regarding Russian aggression against Ukraine’s freedom,” said Jordan Grealich-Radman.

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