By STEPHEN McGRATH and LORNE COOK
BRUSSELS (AP) — Croatia has been given a green light to join the group of nations that make up Europe’s ID-check-free travel area, the European Union’s presidency says. The decision came during a meeting of EU interior ministers in Brussels Thursday. Bulgaria and Romania must wait longer. “The Schengen area is growing for the first time in more than a decade,” the Czech Republic, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency tweeted. “Ministers approved Croatia’s membership as of 1 January 2023!” The so-called Schengen area comprises 26 countries — 22 EU states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.