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We need to address the smuggling threat together

Minister of Interior Boštjan Poklukar has attended the International Conference on a Global Alliance to Counter Migrant Smuggling in Brussels. The goal of the conference convened by the European Commission is to strengthen the efforts to tackle the challenges posed by migrant smuggling.

Minister Boštjan Poklukar participated at the panel Alternatives to irregular migration as a key deterrent for migrant smuggling. He noted that »migrant smuggling is a serious criminal offence perpetrated on a large scale that generates high illicit profits, where the smugglers show very little or no concern for the security and well-being of the victims." Slovenia is being dealing with the organised criminal groups that smuggle migrants in the Western Balkan region. "This year alone we recorded 50,000 unauthorised border crossings and intercepted over 400 smugglers. This means that we catch three to four smugglers every single day, and over 90 percent of them are further detained," Poklukar said.

The success reflected in the high number of arrests lies in close international cooperation with the destination countries of the European Union (EU) and the partners in the Wester Balkans. Here, special importance can be attributed to the Brdo Process platform, in the framework of which we have established a network of operational contact points for joint investigations as well as the close cooperation with all the neighbouring countries. "Despite the recent reintroduction of temporary border controls on the internal borders due to the terrorist threat and potential infiltration of terrorists or their supporters into the migratory flows with the assistance of organised criminal groups, we continue to cooperate very closely in joint patrols and coordinate our respective operational activities for detection of migrant smuggling," the Minister explained at the panel.

We must not allow that the organised criminal groups are the ones who decide who enters the EU. "To make sure that they do not, we also need to take decisive action regarding the external dimension of migration.  We also need to ensure efficient returns, which are essential for smooth functioning of the migration and asylum systems. Effective returns and reintegration of persons without a legal residency in the EU minimise the motives for irregular migration and can lower the demand for the smuggling schemes. Finally, we also need to open the paths for regular migration, which represents a strong alternative to irregular migration" Minister Poklukar also pointed out at the conference.

Poklukar also met with his counterparts from other countries during the conference.


The International Conference on a Global Alliance to Counter Migrant Smuggling was attended by Ministers of Interior of the member states and other countries as well as representatives of the European Parliament, the EU Agencies in the field of justice and home affairs, partner countries and international organisations. The agenda consisted of three panels: Prevention of migrant smuggling, Response to migrant smuggling and Alternatives to irregular migration as a key deterrent for migrant smuggling.