Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in Brussels on Friday that Croatia had significantly improved its technical, significantly invested border protection, to which European Union funds had also contributed, and that 6,500 Croatian police had been at the border day and night for several years.
Asked if he expects Croatia’s entry into Schengen to proceed at the pace previously announced, he said Croatia would do everything possible on the issue, adding that the topic was being discussed at all levels and with all governments.
He stressed that he expected the decision-making process for Croatia’s accession to the Schengen area to continue as planned.
“I have discussed this issue at all levels, with all governments. “I think the momentum is slowly gathering for a decision at the EU Council level,” Plenkovic told reporters after arriving for the resumption of the two-day EU summit.
Plenković said that ongoing talks during the Slovenian EU presidency and the next French presidency would be “crucial to achieving Croatia ‘s strategic goal – to become a member of the Schengen area”.
Among the topics to be discussed at the summit will be the protection of the EU’s external borders against illegal migration.
Plenković said several action plans would also be discussed with non-EU countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, to help them improve migration management.
He said that during the discussion on foreign policy issues on Thursday evening, he had drawn attention to the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially to the existing tension and the statements of the Serbian member of the state presidency, Milorad Dodik, which destabilize the country.
“Croatia supports a unified Bosnia and Herzegovina, its independence, sovereignty and good functioning. I also made it clear that the EU must help, together with our partners, first and foremost the United States, to reach a timely agreement on electoral legislation, so that in next year’s elections Croats, as one of the three constituent peoples, to be able to be legitimately and equally represented in the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ”said Plenković.
He said he was pleased with the quality of the discussion on the issue, adding that several leaders had attended.