Croatia’s Interior Minister Davor Božinović has expressed his belief that the country will receive the final official confirmation regarding Croatia’s entry into Schengen Zone on December 8.
In addition, the Minister has stressed that Austria’s concern regarding the issue is not related to any specific country but rather to the general function of the EU’s borderless area, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Through a statement published by the Croatian government, it has been emphasized that the Minister of the Interior of Austria, Gerhard Karner, recently opposed the enlargement to the Schengen Zone, emphasising the fact that it was not functioning as valid, evidenced by an increased number of asylum seekers in Austria.
“Over the past several days, Austria stressed on several occasions that its concern was not related to any individual country but rather to the functioning of the Schengen Zone. Our argument in that regard is that the Schengen Zone can only grow stronger with Croatia as its member,” Božinović pointed out.
Authorities in Croatia also revealed that the Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer will visit the Balkan country today.
In this regard, Croatia’s Interior Minister said that among the topics that will be discussed with the Austrian Chancellor will also be the coming session of the European Justice and Home Affairs Council, which is set to adopt a decision regarding Croatia’s entry into the borderless area of Schengen Zone on December 8.
Božinović also stressed that he expects Croatia to become an official member of the Schengen Area after it has met all the needed requirements.
“Personally, I still think that Austria’s position is the same as ours – that Schengen should be expanded, that it should be strengthened, and blockades most definitely cannot contribute to that,” Božinović pointed out in this regard.
Through a press release published on November 18, the Ministry of the Interior of Austria clarified that it does not support the accession to the Schengen Zone for Croatia, as well as Bulgaria and Romania.
According to the statement, the Austrian Ministry of the Interior said that due to “the current migration figures and the lack of border protection,” Austria opposes the expansion of the Schengen Area with Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania.
In addition, the Minister of the Interior, Gerhard Karner, said that the number of migrants entering Austria illegally marked a significant increase, thus, he stressed that he does not accept the abolishing of border controls.
However, previously the Commission of the EU stressed that these three Balkan countries are ready to become full members of the Schengen Zone.
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