15 years since Slovenia’s entry into the Schengen Area
On 21 December 2022 have passed 15 years since Slovenia became a Schengen state. For the Slovenian people, the most visible sign of the country’s entry into the Schengen Area was the abolishment of border controls at the borders with Austria, Italy and Hungary. This was a very important development for Slovenia, as its path to other EU states and the Schengen Area finally opened up.
By entering the Schengen Area, Slovenia took on an extremely responsible task – to safeguard the common external border in accordance with the Schengen standards, thus ensuring the safety of all EU member states, as the Slovenian-Croatian border became the new external Schengen border.
This year’s 15th anniversary is also marked by the recent important decision by the Justice and Home Affairs Council on extending Schengen to include the neighbouring and friendly state of Croatia as of 1 January 2023. This will result in a changed regime for crossing the border between Slovenia and Croatia. All travellers meeting the requirements (having a valid passport for crossing the border) will be able to cross the border between these two states anywhere. The ramps will be lifted at the currently operating border crossings, green lights will be turned on (wherever traffic lights are installed) and ground markings will be adapted to reflect the new rules.
The Slovenian Police have been preparing for Croatia’s entry to the Schengen Area for quite some time already. This involved strategic and tactical preparations, which will enable the ensuring of safety in Slovenia despite the abolishment of the Schengen control at the common border. The Police have adopted a strategy that also defines the manner of implementing compensatory measures at internal borders with all neighbouring countries and the implementation of the EU law at internal borders. Among other things, police officers will carry out alternative measures in the form of compensatory measures and will still be present in the border area.
The Slovenian Police have been continuously monitoring and analysing the situation not only at the border with Croatia, but in the entire territory of Western Balkans, which directly impacts the situation at the Slovenian border. All measures introduced by the Police are and will continue to be, even upon Croatia’s entry in the Schengen Area, adapted to the current security situation with the aim of ensuring Slovenia’s safety and preventing illegal migrations, including all possible measures allowed by the Schengen rules.
Slovenia is a determined and fully engaged Schengen state, and will continue to fulfil all its commitments. We are highly aware that safety is an extremely important value both for Slovenia and the entire EU.