Home Human Rights Checkpoints in Slovenia will be introduced on the Croatian border

Checkpoints in Slovenia will be introduced on the Croatian border

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September 27, 2023 – Checkpoints in Slovenia are about to be introduced on the country’s territory near border crossings, including the border with Croatia. The Schengen regime remains in force and it will still be possible to cross the old border crossings without any checks, but there will be police checkpoints on the territory of Slovenia where the police will stop and check individual vehicles.

As the 24ur portal unofficially learns / Hint According to reports, police checkpoints will be introduced in Slovenia due to illegal immigration, similar to Italy. Police will set up checkpoints immediately after border crossings, where they can safely stop vehicles. This will include the areas of the Novo Mesto police station near the Rigonce railway viaduct, Trnovec near Metlika, Obrežje near Kalina and the area of ​​the Koper police station in Rakitovec, Podgorje and Sočerg. According to 24ur, police are carrying out surveillance operations near the Obrežje border crossing.

It is worth noting that the Slovenian government recently announced that it does not plan to introduce border controls with Croatia despite the significant increase in illegal entry of migrants. Slovenian State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Marko Štucin said this yesterday. But it seems that Croatia’s western neighbors have changed their minds.

Significant increase in the number of migrants entering Slovenia illegally

After Croatia entered the Schengen area earlier this year, the number of migrants entering Slovenia illegally via the Western Balkan route, including via Bosnia and Herzegovina, increased significantly. From the beginning of the year to the end of August, Slovenian police handled 36,137 cases of illegal border crossings between Slovenia and Croatia. During the same period last year, 13,601 unauthorized entries were processed.

Across Europe, the number of cases of illegal border crossings is increasing. In this context, despite Schengen, Austria has long extended its border controls with Slovenia and Hungary.

The European border protection agency Frontex announced a few days ago that, given the recent increase in the number of migrants arriving on the island of Lampedusa, it would increase its support for Italy. The agency’s assistance will allow Italian authorities to better monitor what is happening at sea and contribute to the conduct of search and rescue operations for migrants.

Slovenia’s border municipalities say Schengen works well in Croatia

While Slovenia’s Roberta Goloba insists on the coalition’s commitment to removing the border fence, border municipalities say that the Schengen system in Croatia is clearly not working. Residents are calling for increased police surveillance and an end to the removal of the border barrier.

As reported by STA, Deputy Director General of Police Robert Ferenc explained at the emergency meeting of the Committee on Internal Affairs, State Administration and Local Self-Government that Following Croatia’s entry into the Schengen area, migration no longer takes place via the so-called green border system, but via various road and rail routes.

calling on Croatia to strengthen controls

For this reason, the police increased their presence and started carrying out joint patrols with all police forces in countries bordering Slovenia. Police chief Senad Jušić called on his Croatian colleague to intensify patrols in the Brežice police station area.

The head of Brežice municipality, Ivan Molan, said that Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar had promised during his visit to Rigonci that this part of the fence would be the last to be removed.

He described the inhabitants of Rigonce, who feel the increased pressure of illegal border crossings, as being very tolerant towards the refugees and, according to him, as a result, there have been no conflicts between the two groups. According to Anja Bah Žibert (SDS), in September, 6,200 migrants crossed the border into an encampment of around 180 inhabitants.

Ferenc assures that Slovenia is a safe country. He said that since the beginning of the year until September 25, 275 smugglers have been arrested, including 267 foreigners and eight Slovenian citizens, and 250 of them have been detained. He stressed that migrants are familiar with asylum and other procedures and often take advantage of them.

“Croatian police direct migrants to asylum center; we transport them there”

Unlike the Croatian police, who simply direct migrants to the asylum center, the Slovenian police transport them there, he explained. The benefit of this approach, he says, is that the local community gets relief from migrants and the feelings of discomfort and fear associated with them.

According to the assurances of the Minister of the Interior, Poklukar, the police act with humanity, respect the human rights of foreigners and bring them to the center for asylum seekers in Ljubljana. The next day, the asylum application procedure starts there, but according to the assessment of the Minister of the Interior, it is not successful because these people generally leave the asylum. The police bring them back, but they flee, he added.

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