The head of the EU delegation to Bosnia, Peter Sorensen, said he felt optimistic that Bosnians living near Croatia will get special crossing cards, instead of having to use passports, after July 1.
Sorensen, head of the EU delegation to Bosnia, said he hoped border-crossing issues between Bosnia and Croatia would be resolved by the time that Croatia joins the EU in July.
For now, Bosnians will need to use passports to enter Croatia after July, though the authorities of both countries are trying to establish a special regime whereby Bosnians living near the border will be able to cross with only the use of cards.
Sorensen said there had been several meetings on the issue and a solution for citizens living in border areas would soon emerge.
Bosnia and Croatia share a border that is around 1,000 kilometres long. It is estimated that thousands of Bosnians cross and recross the border each day. Many are Bosnian Croats with jobs, homes and family in neighbouring Croatia.
The “border area” in Bosnia and Herzegovina is considered to be the zone that extends 30 kilometers deep into the national territory.
If special cards are allowed, residents of these areas would not have to carry their passports when crossing the Croatian border.
Croatia has already started issuing border-crossing cards for its citizens who live in the zone up to five kilometers from the border with Bosnia, but Bosnia has not done likewise.
This is because Bosnia’s state-level government did not accept the proposal of the state agency tasked with issuing the borders cards owing to technical flaws.
But the head of Bosnia’s commission for integrated management of the borders, Miro Dzakula, recently said there was time to solve this issue since Bosnia and Croatia have to sign a new border agreement before Croatia joins the EU.
He added that according to the draft of the new agreement, Croatia will issue the special border cards for citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and vice-versa.