May 2023 | Reports spotlight Croatia’s migrant pushbacks
A Human Rights Watch report revealed that the Croatian police are systematically and forcefully pushing refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants of different origins back to Bosnia and Herzegovina, disregarding their asylum claims and protection needs. According to the report, the practice includes mistreatment of vulnerable groups and violation of human rights norms as border police are involved in theft and destruction of personal belongings and are subjecting individuals to humiliating and racist treatment. Balkan Insight has also reported on the matter, citing local NGOs and experts who question the legality of these procedures under European law. Croatian authorities argue that these actions are governed by a bilateral agreement and should be classified as returns rather than expulsions.
January 2023 | Croatia joins Eurozone and the Schengen Area
A decade after joining the EU, on 1 January 2023, Croatia became the 27th country to join Europe's Schengen Area, and the 20th country to have adopted the euro as its currency. Both memberships are expected to facilitate the country’s greater integration into the EU and strengthen its economy. Croatia will also be able to access Schengen monitoring, control and data exchange mechanisms. The replacement of the kuna with the euro is intended to improve the standard of living and strengthen the economy, particularly sectors such as tourism and manufacturing. While 55 per cent of Croatian citizens support the currency replacement, 80 per cent fear a rise in prices. The Governor of the Central Bank, Boris Vujcic, has said that the benefits of the Eurozone can already be felt. There were, however, reports of price gouging.