Slovenian and Romanian Ministers discuss primarily migration and the future of Schengen
Minister of the Interior Boštjan Poklukar has hosted the Romanian Minister of the Interior Marian-Cătălin Predoiu. They primarily talked about migration and Schengen.
As Minister Poklukar said after the talks, Romania is an important partner and friendly state, while the relations between the Ministries and the police forces are very active and soundly managed on all levels. "We assess that our cooperation with the Romanian law enforcement, especially the police is excellent, as any open issues are resolved swiftly and efficiently," the Minister said. This year, the Slovenian Government adopted the decision to post a police attaché in Romania. "I believe that this will additionally strengthen our cooperation and the good relations between our countries."
The Ministers dedicated a large part of the discussion to Schengen. "I believe a time has come to have a serious and frank discussion on the future of the Schengen area and our relation to the balance between the free flow of persons and the internal security measures ", Minister Poklukar stressed, before expressing the regret that despite the efforts and factual fulfilment of the required conditions Romania still does not have a unanimous support for accession." Slovenia has always advocated for Romania's equal membership in the Schengen area in the shortest possible time. Romanian membership will integrate our area. As a member, Romania would be able to fully use several police cooperation tools and information systems that are essential for provision of security. Irregular migration and the recent developments effecting the security situation in the European Union almost make Romanian membership in the Schengen a matter of urgency." The Romanian Minister of the Interior thanked Poklukar and Slovenia for supporting the Romanian membership in the Schengen area.
The Ministers also talked about migration and migrant smuggling. As Minister Poklukar declared, Slovenia advocates the joint and timely exchange of information on the security situation in and among all the countries. "In our opinion, the current European union's legal framework requires an upgrade." In order to address illegal migrant smuggling efficiently, we undoubtedly need closer operational cooperation among all the stakeholders as well as stronger interdepartmental cooperation. We work with Romania in the framework of the European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats - EMPACT, especially in investigating organised criminal groups on the Western Balkan migration route. As Minister Poklukar stressed, our wish is to further strengthen the cooperation in several areas. "Our focus is largely on strengthening the collaboration between the Criminal Police Directorate and the Romanian police as we are facing a number of challenges posed by the organised crime, and this is one of the reasons why we will be posting a police attaché in Romania next year. We both agree that this will contribute to our effectiveness."
The Ministers also covered a number of topics from the Justice and Home Affairs Council of the European Union – from the Pact on Migration and Asylum to the challenges of the Asylum system. They also talked about the war in Ukraine and the Middle East, where the situation currently remains highly complex.
Slovenia has been intensifying the police and internal affairs cooperation with the Western Balkan countries as well as on the level of the European Union. "Security is a fragile good. The Ministry has been intensifying the activities in the field of international cooperation." Minister Poklukar invited his Romanian counterpart to the upcoming Ministerial meeting of the Salzburg Forum dedicated to the future of Schengen. The meeting of the Salzburg Forum will be held on 11 and 12 December 2023 in Brdo pri Kranju and will host the participating regional partners, European Agencies and International organisations. The upcoming holder of the presidency of the Council of the European Union Belgium has also been invited to the meeting. "The Salzburg Forum is a format of nine countries, in which Slovenia has been participating in for a long time. I expect that we shall formulate a number of further proposals regarding the future of the Schengen along with additional guidelines and initiatives."