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Slovenia to reintroduce checks at borders with Croatia and Hungary on Saturday

The Slovenian government has issued an ordinance temporarily reintroducing controls at the internal borders with Croatia and Hungary as of Saturday, 21 October 2023, until 30 October 2023.

We will make sure that crossing the border will be as smooth as possible for our citizens, without long queues, and that the lives of people along the border will not be affected by the measure.

In recent days, we have witnessed an extremely worrying situation in our neighbourhood: the Russian military aggression against Ukraine continues, and the situation in the Middle East has deteriorated dramatically. We were also shaken by the recent terrorist attacks in some member states.

"Yesterday, Italy reacted to the new circumstances by notifying the European Commission that as of Saturday, it was reintroducing controls at our common border for a period of 10 days, subject to possible extension," Minister of the Interior, Boštjan Poklukar, said on the sidelines of the EU home affairs ministers meeting in Luxembourg.

Slovenia has also reacted to the situation in our immediate neighbourhood. The proposal to introduce border controls at the borders with Croatia and Hungary was approved today by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. “Control will be introduced on the basis of Article 28 of the Schengen Borders Code. I would like to stress that this is a temporary, short-term measure due to the increased level of terrorist threat, aimed at ensuring a high level of security for our citizens," said Poklukar.

The notification has already been sent to all the relevant institutions, i.e. European Commission, European Parliament, General Secretariat of the Council and member States. Yesterday, Poklukar informed his counterparts from the two neighbouring countries, Croatia and Hungary, of Slovenia’s intention to introduce this measure.

The competent national authorities have noted the increasing scale of organised crime in the Western Balkans. The Slovenian authorities are closely monitoring potential risks and the security situation in the country and in the wider region, as well as factors that could have an impact on the radicalisation of individuals and the spread of violent extremism.

There is a risk that members of various terrorist and extremist movements, fleeing from areas of armed conflict or even coming with the intention to threaten our security and stability, could try to infiltrate mixed migration flows.

The Minister stressed that the temporary reintroduction of controls was a measure of last resort, which was proportionate to the threat identified.

The measures will be carried out in a coordinated manner and in cooperation with the police forces of Italy, Croatia and Hungary. Crossing for our citizens will be possible at all international border crossing points, as was the case before Croatia joined the Schengen area.

“We will keep a close eye on the further development of the situation and the effectiveness of the measures taken, with the aim of reverting to an area without internal border controls as soon as possible,” said Poklukar.