The German Chancellor Angela Merkel showed the support of Germany for Croatia’s Schengen Area accession, last weekend during a meeting with the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, in Zagreb.
Chancellor Merkel visited Zagreb to support the European People’s Party (EPP), the main center-right group running in next week’s EU Parliament election. Both her Christian Democratic Union and Plenkovic’s Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica are members of the EPP.
After the meeting with Croatian PM Plenkovic, Merkel said that “all key figures indicate that Croatia is going in a good direction.”
“I regard Croatia’s two goals, namely joining the euro in the next period as well as joining Schengen, as very realistic,” Merkel said during a joint press conference with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.
“Of course that will still require work, but I think Croatia is on a positive path. Germany wants to be a good partner in the future… Berlin basically supports the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries, but all countries have to meet the criteria,” Merkel said.
She also said that the EU has to keep peace, security and freedom in Europe in order to send a signal against any kind of populism, adding that Croatia and Germany are following that path.
Whereas the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said that, the bid to join the Euro Area will take time.
“That’s not tomorrow’s goal, it’s a project that will accompany the next term of the European Commission and the next term of the European Parliament and the first ambition is to fulfill the criteria for ERM-2,” he said.
Croatia and Germany will co-chair the European Union next year. The two countries’ diplomats will prepare a common strategy for the EU enlargement to the countries of the South East Europe.