Macron: Croatia is ready for Schengen

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic (R) and French President Emmanuel Macron (L) brief the press following their meeting in Zagreb, Croatia, 25 November 2021. [EPA-EFE/HINA / POOL]

“Croatia is ready for Schengen, it has confirmed a strong organisation and the ability to protect its borders, the Union’s external borders, in relation to the fight against smuggling, and it has confirmed its ability to control its borders,” French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday.

Croatia signed a deal with France to purchase 12 French Rafale fighter jets for its Air Forces. Two Dassault Rafale F3R multipurpose aircraft flew over Zagreb after the two countries signed the agreement to celebrate the occasion.

In his speech, Macron also warned that the Schengen regime needed reforming and that France would be working on it in the first half of next year during its presidency of the EU.

Croatian PM Andrej Plenković said his country would contribute to the reform process as a future member of the Schengen area.

The European Commission in October 2019 assessed that Croatia met the criteria for accession to the Schengen area.

“In March, we will talk about the EU Strategic Compass, it is a strategic issue, about a Europe in which we want more sovereignty, which should be more united, keep its strength within NATO, but also be able to ensure its own security. The answer will be European, but it will also be bilateral, which is why I am really pleased with this strategic partnership that we have just signed, which is a concretisation of our common vision and our will to tackle major international relations. But also our economic ties. It will enable joint action in the Western Balkans and in the European Union,” Macron said.

“The French vision is to build an area of peace, stability and cooperation and to strengthen the flow of people. We want to make that area (the Western Balkans) a genuine European region,” he added.

(Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)

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