Croatia became part of the Schengen area of the EU on January 1 and received the right to issue Schengen visas, the Council of the European Union said in a statement.
From January 1, the euro becomes the official currency in Croatia, gradually it should replace the Croatian kuna. Inspections at land and sea borders between Croatia and other countries of the Schengen area have been canceled, and from March 26, checks at internal air borders will be stopped. Croatia also received the right to use the Schengen information system, which collects data from foreigners who violated the rules of stay in the Schengen countries.
Now citizens who needed a national visa to visit Croatia will be able to enter the country with a Schengen visa, as well as move freely within the Schengen area. At the same time, there is still no official information from the country's Foreign Ministry about whether Croatian visas issued earlier will be valid and whether they will be equated to Schengen ones.
On December 8, all EU countries agreed on the accession of Croatia to the Schengen area. At the same time, Austria blocked the abolition of border controls with Romania and Bulgaria, despite the fact that the EU's executive European Commission recommended the admission of Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia to the Schengen area, saying that all countries meet the necessary technical requirements.