‘New chapters’ as Croatia joins euro and free-movement space – POLITICO

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Croatia’s border crossing increase gates opened at midnight on Sunday as Croatia joined the European Free Motion Zone because it adopted the euro as its foreign money.

European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen speaks with Croatian Prime Minister Andrei Prenkovic and Slovenian President Natascha Pirk Musar on the border crossing within the city of Bregana, declaring “two immeasurable achievements” praised.

“Nowhere in Europe is it extra true than on the Croatian-Slovenian border that right this moment is the season of recent beginnings and new chapters,” von der Leyen mentioned.

“Nothing will change after this,” Plenkovic mentioned, referring to the advantages that free motion and financial union would carry to Croatians.

This yr marks the tenth anniversary of the previous Yugoslav Republic’s accession to the EU. Von der Leyen praised the efforts of the Croatian individuals and singled out Plenkovic for pushing the reforms crucial for his speedy rise to the EU’s foreign money membership.

She mentioned the euro “brings macroeconomic stability and credibility” at house and overseas.

“Our residents and economic system will likely be higher protected against the disaster,” Plenkovic mentioned.

However greater than that, von der Leyen mentioned the Euro coin stamped with the pine marten that gave its identify to Croatia’s previous foreign money, the kuna, represents “a bridge between your nationwide id and the future of Europe.” It’s a image of a profitable union.”

The adoption of the euro is the results of an extended marketing campaign to exhibit that Croatia can adjust to financial zone necessities for financial administration. Croatia’s Finance Minister Marco Primorak instructed POLITICO final week that he anticipated the nation’s debt-to-GDP ratio to fall sharply over the following few years because the restoration from the pandemic continues.

Shortly after midnight, Primorac withdrew its first euro from an ATM in Croatia.

Accession to the Schengen Zone means the elimination of land and sea border checks with Croatia’s European neighbors. Airport checks from the opposite 26 nations collaborating within the scheme will finish in March.

The collapse of those obstacles to migration “is the ultimate affirmation of the European id that generations of Croats have fought and fought for,” mentioned his Slovenian counterpart in Bregana at midnight on New 12 months’s Day. mentioned Inside Minister Dabor Bozinovich, who opened the barrier with Sanja Ajanowicz Hobnik.

A celebration was organized by residents on the border. Von der Leyen mentioned individuals residing close to Slovenia and Hungary would see “tangible outcomes” as they may transfer freely throughout the frontiers for work and buying. “The group will likely be tighter,” she mentioned.

The European Fee president additionally famous the duty becoming a member of the Schengen Settlement locations on Croatia when immigration stress is a matter of rising political tensions between bloc members.

“We have to work very carefully collectively to guard the Schengen Settlement and protect its advantages,” mentioned von der Leyen. “With the Schengen Settlement, we depend on one another and know that we are able to belief you and Croatia.”

In an announcement, Hovnik of Slovenia congratulated Croatia on taking a “historic” step, her nation took only one yr in the past.

“It is an occasion that we have been getting ready for a very long time on each side of the border,” she mentioned.

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