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Croatia makes it into Schengen Zone

BRUSSELS: The EU on Thursday approved inclusion of Croatia as the newest member among the Schengen zone from next month. Though Austria and Netherlands blocked Romania and Bulgaria from joining the block.

Croatia’s accession from January 1, 2023, will make it the 27th member of Schengen, which would then comprise 23 of the EU’s 27 countries, plus Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. Bulgaria and Romania, the EU’s two poorest nations, which have been trying for a decade to join Schengen still stand excluded.

Austria vetoed to keep Bulgaria and Romania out Schengen zone fearing increase in already high inflows of asylum-seekers. The Netherlands was equally intent on keeping Bulgaria out, which impacted Romania’s twinned bid.

“Despite the disappointment that we will see from these two member states, we have a firm decision and readiness to continue” to get into Schengen, said Bulgarian Interior Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev.

Zahra Sikandar
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