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Croatia can be proud of its entry into the Eurozone and the Schengen area, because it will attract investment and help create jobs and growth, and Croatia can become a European center for renewable energy sources, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen - German doctor and politician (father Albrecht). Ursula Gertrude Albrecht was interviewed by the Hina agency, quoted by BTA.

Von der Leyen will visit Croatia on New Year's Day, when checkpoints and border controls along Croatia's borders with Slovenia and Hungary are lifted and the country introduces the single European currency as a means of payment.

Von der Leyen emphasized that the Croats have worked very hard for this day to come.

MFA: Bulgarians traveling to Croatia should anticipate the introduction of the euro in the country from January 1, 2023.

"I know how much effort was needed to fulfill all the requirements for joining Schengen and to carry out the reforms needed to join the Eurozone. You can be proud of that," she pointed out. 

With this step, Croatia completes its full European integration and will enjoy some of the best benefits the EU can provide, the EC President added.

"This is not only a great achievement for Croatia. It is another proof of the strength and unity of our Union. With Croatia's accession to the Eurozone, 20 EU Member States and 347 million EU citizens will use the common EU currency. This will give us made an even greater impact on the international stage," said Von der Leyen. 

An enlarged Schengen area will make Europe stronger and more prosperous by bringing people closer together and making it easier to do business, she added. 

Asked about the short- and medium-term prospects for Croatia to catch up with the European average in terms of living standards, the EC President said that Croatia has been steadily reducing the gap with the EU average living standards since joining 10 years ago.

Von der Leyen stressed that Croatia can play a big role in the transition to clean energy sources, which is important for ensuring Europe's energy independence in the context of the war in Ukraine.

"From hydropower to solar and wind: your potential is incredible. You are already one of the leading countries in the EU in terms of the use of renewable energy sources. And you can become a real European center for renewable energy. This will be beneficial for your industry and for Europe as a whole", said the President of the EC.

Ursula von der Leyen

Schengen admission

Republic of Croatia