The interior ministers of Slovenia, Croatia and Italy – Boštjan Poklukar, Davor Božinović and Matteo Piantedosi – agreed in Trieste to strengthen cooperation in border surveillance along the Western Balkan migration route, reported Slovenian national television RTV Slo.
Ministers looked at data from the first ten days after the resumption of police checks on the borders between Croatia and Slovenia and Slovenia and Italy, introduced on 21 October.
Piantedosi indicated that checks were made on 19,000 people and 10,000 vehicles, 300 foreigners were returned to the border, and ten people were arrested on suspicion of aiding illegal migration. Because of these results, Italy extends the control of its border with Slovenia for another 20 days. Slovenia, on the other hand, extends border checks with Croatia and Hungary until November 19.
Poklukar noted that the visa policy issue must be resolved in the European Union. He emphasized that he supports the entry of Bulgaria and Romania into the Schengen area, as well as the action of the European border and coast guard agency “Frontex” in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Piantedosi pointed out that the control of the Italian-Slovenian border was introduced on the basis of an analysis of the threat of terrorism carried out by specialists, and the effect of the measure will be extended as long as it is necessary, although everyone wants the removal of police checks as soon as possible .
Slovenian Interior Minister Poklukar added that European regulations allow a maximum of two months for the implementation of such measures.
The Italian minister noted that three conclusions were reached at the meeting – a permanent structure for the organization of mixed police teams will be established, as well as joint police coordination centers, and tripartite meetings of ministers will be regular.
On October 21, Slovenia and Italy temporarily resumed police checks at their borders for a period of 10 days, thus limiting the free movement of people in the Schengen area, BTA recalls.