In a press release after the meeting, Minister Boštjan Poklukar underlined the traditional good relations between the two countries: “Bosnia and Herzegovina is our second most important economic partner in the region and the largest recipient of Slovenian development aid. Slovenia is a supporter and ally of Bosnia and Herzegovina on its path to membership in the EU and NATO.. We are working at all levels to ensure that the European Council adopts a decision in December on the opening of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU accession negotiations. “On this occasion, Minister Poklukar also thanked Minister Nešić for the assistance provided by Bosnia and Herzegovina after the floods in Slovenia in August.
Cooperation with the Western Balkans is one of the priorities of the Republic of Slovenia. The Ministry of the Interior strives to strengthen the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries. “Close cooperation and exchange of information are of paramount importance to successfully address security challenges. Cooperation between police authorities The relationship between the two countries is good in all areas,” Minister Poklukar said.
The main topic of discussion was complex migration situation in the Western Balkans. Ministers agreed on the need to work together to more effectively prevent irregular migration. “We discussed strengthening cooperation with the police authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina and improving the exchange of information and operational data between the two ministries and the police forces. We agreed to intensify the police cooperation. Our goal is to organize a video conference between the Slovenian Director General of Police and the police chiefs of Bosnia and Herzegovina for an even faster exchange of information and data. We are also jointly intensifying activities aimed at preventing smuggling and dismantling smuggling networksbecause it is a problem faced by all countries along the Western Balkans migration route.
Minister Poklukar particularly emphasized the need for Bosnia and Herzegovina to sign the status agreement with Frontex as soon as possible. “I hope that the newly appointed negotiating team will be confirmed as soon as possible so that negotiations to harmonize the agreement can begin. In my opinion, this is an important task for Bosnia and Herzegovina so that it progresses towards European standards and its integration into the EU. Minister Nešić assured that he would resolutely commit to signing the agreement so that Frontex can begin its mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
They also discussed visa policy for third-country nationals in the Western Balkan countries. “I believe that here too, with the European Commission, we will take a step forward.”
“As you know, some countries have increased their security level, notably Slovenia, and we have introduced internal border controls with Croatia and Hungary. We both agree that we must do everything what is in our power to prevent any terrorist threat and radicalization in our countries and in the region.
Finally, Minister Poklukar added that the Slovenian Interior Ministry works closely with several Interior Ministries and is active in international cooperation, announcing a working meeting with the Romanian minister next week. “I am convinced that together with our partners, through bilateral and multilateral cooperation, we will address the security challenges in the region and in the member states.”