EC Expects Border Crossing Problems to Be Solved

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European Commissioner for Home Affairs believes that the key to a solution is the agreement between Croatia and Slovenia.

“I am sure that these problems, which we have seen in the first phase of implementation of the new regulation on border controls, will soon disappear and that border traffic will again go smoothly,” said European Commissioner for Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos in Brussels, answering a question about the new European regulations which last week created major traffic jams at all Croatian border crossings, reports Večernji List on April 13, 2017.

Avramopoulos did not elaborate on how exactly the traffic jams could disappear if the European Commission continues to implement the regulation which requires systematic verification of travel documents of every citizen of the EU, which until last Friday was not the case.

He hinted that the key to the solution was in the ability of Croatia and Slovenia to talk and agree on this issue. “It is good that the European Commission should intervene, but I think that it is even better for the neighbouring countries to talk to each other. Dialogue always leads to a positive outcome. We have set up a framework, and it is up to the member states to implement it,” said Avramopoulos.

At the initiative of the European commissioner, the implementation of the new regulation was discussed yesterday during a meeting of the working group of the EU Council on borders, which includes representatives of all 28 EU member states. State secretary at the Slovenian Ministry of the Interior Bostjan Šefic said that Slovenia would try to accommodate travellers.

“We want to enable all well-intentioned travellers to as quickly as possible cross the border. However, when the traffic is not so intense and the number of people at border crossings is small, we will continue to carry out systematic checks of all passengers when entering and leaving,” said Šefic.

The new regulation allows member states, in case of large crowds, to temporarily abandon systematic controls and return to the regime of targeted controls of EU citizens. However, that is possible only after a written risk assessment is made, which would have to demonstrate that safety would not be compromised by such a temporary waiver of systematic controls.

After the large traffic jams on Croatia’s border crossings last Friday and Saturday, the new border control regime has been temporarily suspended. It is not known when it could be reinstituted.


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