Checkpoints in Slovenia to be Introduced at Croatian Border

Katarina Anđelković

croatia-slovenia border

September 27, 2023 – Checkpoints in Slovenia are about to be introduced on the country’s territory near border crossings, including the border with Croatia. The Schengen regime remains in force, and it will still be possible to cross the former border crossings without any control, but there will be police checkpoints on the territory of Slovenia where the police will stop and check individual vehicles.

As the portal 24ur unofficially learns / Index reports, police checkpoints in Slovenia will be introduced due to illegal migration, following the example of Italy. The police will set up checkpoints immediately after the border crossings, where they can safely stop vehicles. This will include the areas of the Novo Mesto police station near the railway overpass Rigonce, Trnovec near Metlika, Obrežje near Kalina, and the area of the Koper police station in Rakitovec, Podgorje, and Sočerg. According to 24ur, the police are conducting surveillance operations near the Obrežje border crossing.

It should be noted that the Slovenian government recently announced that it is not considering introducing border controls with Croatia despite the significant increase in illegal entry of migrants. Slovenian State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Marko Štucin, stated so yesterday. But it seems that Croatia’s western neighbors have changed their minds.

Significantly increased number of migrants entering Slovenia illegally

After Croatia entered into Schengen at the beginning of the year, the number of migrants who illegally go to Slovenia via the Western Balkans route, including via Bosnia and Herzegovina, has increased significantly. From the beginning of the year to the end of August, the Slovenian police processed 36,137 cases of illegal border crossing between Slovenia and Croatia. In the same period last year, 13,601 unauthorized entries were processed.

Across Europe, the number of cases of illegal border crossing is increasing. In this context, despite Schengen, Austria has been expanding border control with both Slovenia and Hungary for a long time.

The European border protection agency Frontex announced a few days ago that, in light of the recent increase in the number of migrants arriving on the island of Lampedusa, it will increase its support to Italy. The agency’s assistance will enable the Italian authorities to better monitor what is happening at sea and assist in conducting search and rescue operations for migrants.

Border municipalities in Slovenia claim that Schengen does function well in Croatia

While Slovenia’s Roberta Goloba insists on a coalition commitment to remove the fence on the border, the border municipalities say that the Schengen system in Croatia clearly does not work. There are calls from the locals to increase police surveillance and to stop removing the border fence.

As reported by STA, Deputy Director General of the Police Robert Ferenc explained at the emergency meeting of the Committee for Internal Affairs, State Administration and Local Self-Government that after Croatia’s entry into the Schengen area, migration is not taking place through the so-called green border, but by various road and rail routes.

calling on Croatia to Increase controls

Because of this, the police increased their presence and started conducting joint patrols with all the police of the countries with which Slovenia borders. Chief Police Director Senad Jušić called on his Croatian colleague to step up patrols in the area of the Brežice Police Station.

The head of the municipality of Brežice, Ivan Molan, said that the Minister of the Interior, Boštjan Poklukar, promised during his visit to Rigonci that this part of the fence would be the last to be removed.

He described the locals of Rigonce, who are feeling the increased pressure from illegal border crossings, as very tolerant towards refugees and, according to him, because of this, there were no conflicts between the two groups. According to Anja Bah Žibert (SDS), in September, 6,200 migrants crossed the border in a settlement with about 180 inhabitants.

Ferenc assures that Slovenia is a safe country. He said that from the beginning of the year to September 25, 275 people smugglers were arrested, including 267 foreigners and eight Slovenian citizens, and detention was ordered for 250. He pointed out that migrants are well acquainted with asylum and other procedures and often take advantage of those.

“Croatian police refer migrants to the center for asylum seekers; we transport them there”

Unlike the Croatian police, who only refer migrants to the center for asylum seekers, the Slovenian police transport them there, he said. According to him, the advantage of this approach is that the local community relieves itself of migrants and the feelings of discomfort and fear associated with them.

According to the assurances of the Minister of the Interior, Poklukar, the police act humanely, respect the human rights of foreigners, and bring them to the asylum center in Ljubljana. The following day, the procedure for seeking asylum starts there, but according to the assessment of the Minister of the Interior, it is not successful because these people usually leave the asylum. The police return them, but they run away, he added.


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