Croatia expects to overcome the last formal obstacles on its way to joining the European Union's visa-free zone by the end of the year, said Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.
The Balkan state is seeking to join the so-called Schengen zone in order to boost its tourism-dependent economy and facilitate travel for the more than 10 million Europeans who visit Croatia each year.
Croatia has met all the criteria and is ready to provide further clarification on this to anyone who wants it so that we can enter on January 1, Plenkovic said.
After assessing Croatia's readiness for criteria such as protecting its border and controlling immigration, a committee of the European Parliament is expected to give a positive opinion in the coming weeks, he said. The final decision rests with the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council.
Plenkovic also said his government supports other EU members Bulgaria and Romania in their efforts to join the world's largest visa-free regime at the same time as Croatia.