On 1 January 2023, Croatia adopted the euro as its currency, gradually replacing the Kuna, and fully joined the Schengen area. 


With Croatia, 20 EU Member States and 347 million EU citizens will share the EU's common currency. As for Schengen, this is the eighth enlargement and the first after 11 years.

The euro will deliver practical benefits to Croatian citizens and businesses. It will make travelling and living abroad easier, boost the transparency and competitiveness of markets, and facilitate trade. The Schengen area allows 420 million people to travel freely between member countries without going through border controls. It allows to develop a common, shared responsibility for controlling the external borders of the Union and the responsibility to issue common Schengen visas. Above numbers, for more than 35 years now Schengen has been an area of values, freedom, security and justice. Especially in the current geopolitical and economic context, the Schengen area is instrumental to stability, resilience and recovery. 

AII Secretary General, Ambassador Castellaneta, warmly congratulates Croatia on this historic double achievement of joining the euro area and the borderless Schengen zone: testament to Croatia’s remarkable progress over the past three decades. Croatia can now fully contribute to a more prosperous and resilient Schengen area. This is a major achievement for Croatia, a symbol of its deep-rooted attachment to the EU, and a symbolic moment for the euro area as a whole. As Adriatic Ionian Initiative, we sincerely hope that other Western Balkans countries will follow the path and join both areas soon.