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Renewed police cooperation agreement to be concluded after several years

Today, Minister of the Interior mag. Tatjana Bobnar met with her Croatian counterpart, Dr Davor Božinović, in Brežice.
Interior Ministers Bobnar and Božinović upon their arrival in Brežice

Interior Ministers Bobnar and Božinović upon their arrival in Brežice | Author Ministrstvo za notranje zadeve

"Our countries face many common challenges that require close cooperation and mutual trust. I am confident that through meetings such as today's we will contribute to this," said the Minister after the meeting, which took place in a pleasant and constructive atmosphere.

The ministers discussed the future of the Schengen area, which, they believe, is in need of renewal and is the subject of intensive discussions at the EU level. "I am pleased we have taken a considerable step forward in drawing up a renewed police cooperation agreement, which was tabled several years ago", said the Minister. This is important for further cooperation between the police forces of both countries when Croatia joins the Schengen area. She reiterated Slovenia's position in favour of Croatia's accession to the Schengen area, and added: "Of course, we expect Croatia to fully carry out external border control and other tasks in accordance with the Schengen acquis using all available tools such as Frontex”.

According to the ministers, both police forces have noticed a worrying and increasing trend of illegal crossings of the state border by third-country nationals (from India, Burundi and Cuba), who come legally to the Western Balkans and then cross our borders illegally. "We agreed that this phenomenon calls for an urgent discussion at EU level on the visa regimes of our partners in the region. The European Commission should also take action on this issue as soon as possible, and we will urge it to do so in a letter drawn up by like-minded countries," said Minister Bobnar. The two ministers affirmed their commitment to close operational cooperation to ensure the highest possible level of security on both sides of the border, with Bobnar stressing full respect for human rights.

After the meeting, the ministers and their delegations visited the Obrežje border crossing point, where a wire fence, which is considered a disproportionate measure, has already been removed from the common border. "Apart from the fact that fences cannot prevent illegal migration, which I have repeatedly pointed out, the removal of the fence is also a sign of friendship and good cooperation between our respective countries," the Minister concluded the meeting.

Minister Božinović also underlined the excellent cooperation between the two countries, especially in working out effective and practical solutions that will benefit the citizens of both countries. He supports the removal of the wire fence, making it possible for the people along the border to feel connected. He thanked Slovenia for its support for Croatia's accession to the Schengen area and welcomed the commitment to renew the agreement on police cooperation.