Croatia strengthened its ties to the European Union (EU) on 1 January, becoming a member of both the Schengen free movement area, and replacing its former currency, the Kuna, with the Euro.
The country announced its intention to join Schengen in October 2022, after it successfully met all requirements needed apply. The Croatia has been preparing to join the Euro since 12 July 2022, when the EU adopted the final pieces of legislation needed for the country to join.
Following the inclusion of Croatia, the Schengen Zone now includes 27 member states – 23 of which are EU members. The Eurozone now consists of 19 EU member states.
While 70 per cent of ATMs in Croatia have already been converted to distribute Euros, the remaining 30 per cent will continue to supply Kuna for the next fortnight.
The kuna will still be accepted by retailers and other service providers until 15 January, and can be exchanged at banks until the end of 2023. One Euro is equivalent to 7.5345 kuna, and a fee will be applied to convert kuna from 1 July.
Joining both Schengen and the Euro will provide a number of benefits – including the abolition of internal land and sea borders between Croatia and all other Schengen area countries, and the removal of exchange rate issues. These will be of particular interest to medical assistance and repatriation firms, who will have fewer hurdles to deal with when serving clients in Croatia.