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Croatia to Join the EU in 2013 – What Does it Mean to Travellers?

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Croatia and EU flagsLast month Croatians voted in a referendum on EU membership by nearly two-to-one in favour of joining the EU (though voter turnout was under 50%).

Accession is scheduled for July 1, 2013, right in the middle of the country’s peak tourist season. So how will this affect people travelling to the country?

No significant changes, to begin with

Following on from the experiences of countries such as the Czech Republic and Poland, and other more recent EU members such as Romania and Bulgaria, to start with there will be very little outward changes. Because Croatia won’t be joining either the Euro or the Schengen area until at least 2015, according to the country’s leaders, there will still be border checks and you will still use Croatian Kunas to pay for things. There will probably be a slightly higher level of price inflation in the tourist industry than normal as prices drift towards European averages (so go now to make the most of pre-EU Croatia!)

Mostly legal

Most of the changes in the first stage of membership are the alignment of laws, standards and regulations, so health & safety standards, hygiene laws and other day-to-day things are uniform across the whole EU.

Later on

If/when Croatia joins the Euro it will make travellers lives a little easier. Schengen membership will also make crossing the border between Croatia and Slovenia much quicker, with no passport checks, as it is between Italy and Slovenia now.

Planning a trip to Croatia? We’d love to put together a Croatia travel package just for you. Get in touch to find out more!

Image credit: Croatian and EU flags on the Croatian Parliament Building, by Martin Deutsch, via Creative Commons on Flickr.

Ana has managed the Adriatic destinations offered by JayWay Travel since 2007. Her passion for the region's culture and tradition is apparent in her participation as member of a nationally recognized acapella group.

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