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Statement on Austria’s notification of extended border controls on the border with Slovenia

On 11 October 2023, the Republic of Austria notified the European Commission, the European Parliament and the member states of its decision to reintroduce border controls at the internal Schengen border with the Republic of Slovenia for the period from 12 November 2023 to 11 May 2024.

As Austria explained, this decision is a consequence of the unstable migration and security situation in the EU, the significant increase in the number of illegal migrants on the Balkan route and the resulting overload of the national asylum system, as well as the numerous security risks related to the war in Ukraine. Due to the short duration of the joint measures with Hungary and Slovenia, it is not yet possible to assess their impact. Furthermore, such measures cannot be regarded as an adequate substitute for the current temporary border controls.

At Slovenia’s request, the European Commission initiated a formal consultation in the spring to examine whether Austria’s extension of border controls is excessive, disproportionate and not based on the existence of a new serious threat affecting public policy or internal security. At the same time, Slovenia and Austria have introduced joint police patrols, which clearly demonstrates that alternative measures are indeed more effective than border controls. We therefore believe that the measure introduced by the Republic of Austria is excessive. In view of the April 2022 CJEU ruling, Slovenia also expects a clear response from the European Commission.