The Czech Republic supports Croatia’s rapid entry into the Schengen area
During its Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Czech Republic will work for the EU to grant Croatia the right to enter the Schengen area. This was stated Thursday (July 7) by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala after meeting his Croatian counterpart in Prague.
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković has said his country wants to enter the EU borderless zone in January 2023, a situation that might be possible. Mr Fiala told a Czech news agency that he had also perceived strong support from EU leaders for Croatia’s accession to the Schengen area, after talking with them during informal meetings.
The two leaders of course discussed the Czech EU Presidency, which started last week. The Prime Ministers notably discussed the European integration of the Western Balkan countries and the main objectives set by the Presidency in this regard.
“We want to advance the integration of the Western Balkans, including Bosnia and Herzegovina”, said Mr. Fiala. A few weeks ago at the EU summit, leaders of EU member states gave the troubled country little hope by indicating their willingness to grant the country EU candidate status.
As Mr Fiala has already confirmed, the Czech Republic does not want to stand in the way of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s European integration, but neither is it “proactive” on this point because of its difficult internal situation. The Czechs believe that the European Union should first resolve the situation in which North Macedonia and Albania find themselves.
Thursday’s discussion probably focused on the possibilities of cooperation in the energy sector. The Czech Republic, heavily dependent on Russian fossil fuels, wants to use Croatian LNG terminals and oil transportation facilities.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the excellent mutual relations. The minorities of compatriots in both countries and the high number of tourists establish strong ties between the two EU member states.
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