What will change when Croatia joins the Schengen zone in 2023?

Croatia is set to join the borderless Schengen zone next year following a vote by the European Parliament.

A 534-54 majority has paved the way for Croatia to become part of the world’s largest passport-free area.

It will join the 26 countries currently in the Schengen zone.

Croatia will also start using the euro from January 2023. Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning a trip to the country next year.

Do you need a passport to enter Croatia?

Croatia has been part of the European Union since 2013 but is not currently in the Schengen zone.

This means that a passport or identity card is still required to enter the country even when arriving from a country in the Schengen area.

However, from January 1, 2023, Croatia looks set to lift its border controls with other Schengen countries.

This means travellers can pass from another Schengen country into Croatia without needing to show a passport or identity card.

On Thursday, the European Parliament voted in favour of removing the remaining border controls between Croatia and the Schengen Zone.

The final decision now lies with the EU Council whose members are the EU’s 27 heads of government.

“Croatia’s place is in Schengen. Criteria have been met. The European Parliament has given its green light. Now the EU Council must deliver,” European Parliament President Roberta Metsola wrote in a tweet.

The final decision is expected to be made on December 9.

A positive vote will mean Croatia’s border controls with Schengen countries on land and sea will be abolished from January 1, 2023. Controls at airports will be lifted from March 26.

What currency does Croatia use?

At the moment, visitors to Croatia need to exchange their money as the country will continue to use its own currency, the kuna, until January next year. Currently, one Croatian kuna is worth around €0.13.

From next year, however, Croatia will begin using the euro. The country joins 19 other countries in the bloc that use the currency.

The eastern European nation is hoping this will bring greater financial security to its citizens and raise the standard of living. 

It should help rein in soaring inflation, which also means travellers can expect fewer dramatic fluctuations in prices.

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