Prime minister visits Slovenian police on the North Macedonian-Greek border
On his working visit to North Macedonia in Gevgelia, prime minister Marjan Šarec and North Macedonian prime minister Zoran Zaev reviewed the conditions on the North Macedonian-Greek border with respect to the challenges of illegal migration on the so-called Balkan route, and visited a migrant transit centre on the country’s south-eastern border. On the occasion, he met with six members of the Slovenian police who are participating in the joint surveillance of border crossings on Macedonian territory as part of joint measures for managing the increased flow of migrants.
In his address, the PM thanked them for their work outside the borders of the Republic of Slovenia, and noted that since January 2016 Slovenia has assigned 39 police units, with a total of 249 officers, to work on the North Macedonian-Greek border. He assessed the cooperation between the Slovenian and North Macedonian foreign ministries and police as excellent and very intensive. In his view, the EU has handled the crisis relatively effectively, although Slovenia, which is also dealing with illegal migration and the challenges of protecting the Schengen border, always takes the position that the European Union should be more committed to protecting its external borders. He also mentioned several other measures that the EU is carrying out in this area, including efforts towards eliminating the fundamental causes of the crisis and significantly increasing humanitarian aid to people who require it both inside and outside the borders of the EU.
The prime minister repeated that Slovenia strives to maintain good cooperation with North Macedonia and for progress in North Macedonia’s path to accession to the EU and NATO. Progress on reforms and regional stability are otherwise in Slovenia’s strategic interest. At the same time, in discussions in the European Union he emphasises the importance of support for North Macedonia in the form of personnel, technical assistance and services in the area of security, through which we would achieve higher-quality protection of the border.