Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said on Saturday that Croatia's admission to the Schengen Area should be one of the priorities for Slovenia and the European Union and that those who did not think that Croatia was prepared for the Schengen passport-free area "make not only highly politicised comments but also show their ignorance."
In the Slovenian political scene, too, there are those who say that Croatia's entry into the Schengen Area is also in the strategic interest of Slovenia, Bozinovic said in an interview with the Croatian Radio on Saturday morning.
Croatia meets 270 recommendations for application of Schengen rules
"Being exposed to the growing migrant pressure, Croatia has met the conditions (for the entry) in a situation in which not any member of the Schengen has been so far. Croatia has fulfilled 270 recommendations assessed by European Commission experts and experts from the Schengen area, the minister said.
Asked whether Slovenia could block Croatia's Schengen bid and whether Ljubljana could lobby for this blockade among other EU member-states, Bozinovic said that it was in the EU's strategic interest to support Croatia.
In this context, he recalled that Bavaria's Minister of the Interior Joachim Herrman, who visited Zagreb this past Thursday, thanked the Croatian police for protecting the European border.
On 22 October the European Commission assessed that Croatia was prepared for the entry into the Schengen area.
On that occasion, President Jean-Claude Juncker was quoted as saying that he commends Croatia "for its efforts and perseverance to meet all the necessary conditions to join Schengen. It is only through being united and standing together that we can ensure a stronger Schengen area. Sharing the achievement of Schengen must be our common objective. This is why I trust that the Member States will take the right steps for Croatia to become a full Schengen member soon," Juncker said.