Pirc Musar, Plenković and von der Leyen celebrate Schengen expansion
Obrežje, 1 January - Slovenian President Nataša Pirc Musar, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met in Obrežje to celebrate Croatia's entry into the Schengen zone and its introduction of the Euro. They agreed that today was a historic day, one which should be celebrated all across the EU.
Talking to the press after the trilateral meeting, von der Leyen said Croatia was a symbol for a new beginning today. She noted that this marked the end of border checks on Croatia's borders with Slovenia, Hungary and Italy.
Commission president also noted that Croatians are joining a community of 347 million Europeans using the Euro, which she labelled one of the biggest collective achievements of the EU.
Plenković, as well said this was a historic day, as his country had achieved its strategic and political goals. He noted that Croatia was the only country so far to enter the Schengen and the Euro zones on the same day.
Pirc Musar underlined that this was a great day for Slovenian and Croatian citizens alike, also pointing to the importance of EU enlargement.
"My first visit in my capacity as president is an homage to the EU, our neighbour, European integration and to cooperation," she said, adding that integration was the only possible way forward, also for the countries of the Western Balkans.
Some 31 years after the countries broke away from Yugoslavia, Slovenia and Croatia are once again using the same currency and its citizens do not have to show IDs when crossing the border.