July 31, 2018
The number of illegal immigrants that are caught crossing the Slovenian border from Croatia proves that Croatia is not adequately protecting its outer EU border, announced Boštjan Šefic, the Interior Ministry's State Secretary, who added that if the trend continues Slovenia will be forced to take measures which would effectively mean the closing of its Schengen border.
In his statement to the national radio broadcaster this Monday, State Secretary Šefic explained that the roughly 1,000 crossings a month is too high, and thus is forcing Slovenia to “take measures that will not only be difficult for Slovenia, but also others”. Excessive border permeability, claimed Šefic according to the MMC report, points to the failure of Croatia, a country which would like to join the Schengen Area, but also of the Frontex, the agency which is supposed to take care of the EU border security.
Against the current German and Austrian proposals, according to which Frontex controls would be placed on the Slovenian-Croatian border, Šefic also reiterated that the agency should protect the external EU borders, and Slovenia would only demand its help in the case of a collapse of these and the resulting problems that would be faced by the country due to a lack of resources to protect its Schengen border with Croatia.
If such a scenario plays out, Slovenia would also seek help from the police forces of neighbouring countries, like it did in 2015. However, emphasised Šefic, EU border security must remain a priority, as “we need to keep control over who enters the European Union, how and with what intentions”. If we fail doing this, added Šefic, drastic measures will follow, perhaps starting in August.