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IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? The European Commission has recommended that Croatia join the Schengen Area.
What does the change mean? If all Schengen member states accept the recommendation, Croatians would enjoy free movement among the 26 countries currently in the Schengen Area.
Background: Croatia joined the European Union in 2013 and later requested to join the Schengen Area. The European Commission recently announced that Croatia has met the criteria to join the border-free area and has recommended Croatia be admitted to the Schengen Area.
The Schengen Area is made up of 26 countries and allows free movement to member countries. Individuals holding a Schengen member state passport or ID card can travel freely within the free-movement area. Along with Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania have also applied but have not yet been admitted.
Analysis & Comments: The change is good news for Croatia and could facilitate business and tourist activity. Nevertheless, the recommendation does not ensure entry as all EU member states in the Schengen Area must uphold the commission’s decision, and it is not certain how each state will vote. If the decision is upheld, individuals traveling within Europe, and between Schengen member states, will find it easier to travel to Croatia for both tourism and business. However, Croatian immigration authorities will determine the business activities permitted under a Schengen “C” visa.
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