Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic has said that Zagreb will apply to join the EU's passport-free Schengen zone on July 1 next year.
Prime Minister Milanovic on Thursday said that Croatia would apply join the Schengen zone on July 1, 2015, two years after joining the European club.
"One year ago, I said that one of our cabinet's major goals would be to make Croatia fit to formally apply for membership of the Schengen zone in the shortest possible time after joining the EU, that is, two years," Milanovic said.
He added that on July 1, 2015, Croatia should be fully ready to undergo a final EU evaluation on the country's preparedness to join the Schengen zone.
Milanovic also said that he expected the EU to give an assessment within no more than six months following the submission of the application, as the case was with Hungary.
The Schengen Area comprises 26 European Union countries that have abolished border controls between them. The area functions as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy.
Croatia joined the EU in July last year.