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Internal border checks extended until June 2024

The temporary border controls on Slovenia’s internal borders with Croatia and Hungary will continue for another six months, from 22 December 2023 until 22 June 2024. The internal border checks are being extended under Article 25 of the Schengen Borders Code.

The Government of the Republic of Slovenia issued the Ordinance on the temporary reintroduction of controls on the internal borders of the Republic of Slovenia with the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Hungary at its meeting on 14 December 2023. The Ordinance enters into force on 22 December 2023.

Taking into account the principle of proportionality, the modalities and intensity of the temporary border control measures at internal borders will continue to be targeted and focused on the prevention of terrorism, extremism and cross-border crime. The measures will be carried out in a way that minimises the impact on travellers, the environment and the economy, and in particular on the lives of the people living near the border.

Reasons for the six-month prolongation of border controls

Significant deterioration of the security situation in the Middle East and threats arising from the calls by terrorist organisations to carry out terrorist and other violent acts in the Western countries, the ongoing Russian military aggression in Ukraine, recent developments in the security situation in Afghanistan as well as violent conflicts in several African countries all require the adoption of the last resort measures to ensure public order and internal security.

The terrorist threat in Slovenia remains elevated at the third level out of five. Several EU member states have recently raised the terrorist threat level, with the neighbouring Austria elevating the alert to the maximum level. In line with the principles of the Schengen area, a threat in one member state can pose a threat to the entire area. In early December, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs too warned of the high risk of terrorist attacks in the EU due to the war in the Middle East and the resulting polarisation in the society.

The high terrorist threat was additionally backed by the information that several persons, who arrived from third countries, had been detained by law enforcement authorities in the framework of counter-terrorist operations on the EU territory. In this context, migration flows may pose a security risk accompanied with other irregularities.

Slovenia first reintroduced temporary controls on the internal borders with Croatia and Hungary on 21 October 2023 under Article 28 of the Schengen Borders Code, which remained the legal basis for the border controls until 21 December 2023.