Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob said on Thursday that his government wanted Croatia to join the Schengen Area as soon as possible, but that some outstanding issues had to be resolved before that, because the European border-free area is not working well in its present state.
Slovenia wants Croatia to join the Schengen Area as soon as possible, but currently it isn’t functioning and many issues still need to be resolved because of that, Golob told reporters at the NATO summit in Madrid.
He was referring to increased controls between some of the present members of the Schengen Area, which have been in place for several years now and which Slovenia opposes, especially when it comes to Austria’s actions.
The problem of the non-functioning of the Schengen Area can also be felt by Slovenia on the border with Austria, which is carrying out intensified border controls towards Slovenia, the Slovenian prime minister said.
We definitely want Croatia to join as soon as possible, but there are still many dilemmas that concern the non-functioning of today’s Schengen and they need to be resolved in the coming months, he added.
According to him, it will be possible to address the pace of the enlargement of the Schengen Area and Croatia’s entry once solutions are found to the current dilemmas concerning the future and functioning of the Schengen Area in general.
On Wednesday, the Council of the European Union initiated the procedure for decision making on the admission of Croatia to the Schengen Area, requesting an opinion from the European Parliament which is required for a final decision, the Croatian state news agency Hina learned from diplomatic sources. The Council of the EU proposed that controls at Croatia’s land and sea borders with Schengen countries be revoked as of 1 January 2023 and at airports as of 26 March.
Should there be no unforeseen obstacles, in the tenth year of its EU membership Croatia would simultaneously join the Schengen Area and the euro area, the two closest integration associations at the core of the European Union.