Slovenia Can't Block Croatia's Schengen Entry Indefinitely, Says Plenković

By 27 September 2019

ZAGREB, September 27, 2019 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Friday that if Slovenia decided to block Croatia's Schengen entry, it would not be able to do so indefinitely.

"They can't block indefinitely. We are a member state, we have enough mechanisms. That's all I'll say," he told Croatian reporters in Brussels who asked him if Slovenia could stop Croatia's Schengen Area accession for a long time.

Plenković is on a three-day visit to Brussels. Today he met European Commission Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis and Finnish PM Annti Rinne, whose country is the current Council of the EU chair.

Plenković said he was pleased with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's guarantee that next month Croatia would receive a positive assessment on the meeting of the Schengen entry criteria, to be followed by a political debate at the Council of the EU. All member states must approve the accession.

Plenković said it was not realistic to expect a decision to that effect during Croatia's EU presidency in the first half of 2020.

"We believe we have met the criteria. Now there will be a political debate, but not during our presidency. The Schengen entry criteria are objective, we have met them, and if there are some political issues, we will deal with them at the Council."

Plenković said he did not expect problems from the member states which now were against Bulgaria and Romania entering Schengen. Both have had a positive assessment of their compliance with the criteria since 2011.

Plenković said that he and Dombrovskis talked about the implementation of Croatia's euro action plan and preparations for joining the European Exchange Rate Mechanism II.

"The Commission is following in detail what we are doing, and we are doing it within the deadlines we have set, therefore the process if going well," he said, adding that a Commission delegation collecting data as part of the European Semester would visit Zagreb in October.

"I talked about those topics with Vice-President Dombrovskis and the Commission has a positive view of our reform efforts," Plenković said.

More news about relations between Croatia and Slovenia can be found in the Politics section.