Slovenia started erecting the fence on the Croatian border during the 2015 migrant crisis. Early in July this year, its government adopted a decision to start removing it.
At her first meeting with Božinović, Bobnar said the razor-wire fence was a disproportionate tool and that its removal was “a symbol of the friendship and good cooperation between the states.”
“The symbolism of removing the razor wire benefits first and foremost the people along the border, who are closely connected,” Božinović told the press after the meeting near the Bregana-Obrežje border crossing.
Bobnar said a “worrying” increase in attempts to illegally cross the border had been recorded this year.
The novelty are nationals of India, Burundi, and Cuba who arrive illegally in one of the Balkan states and then attempt to illegally enter the EU.
“That’s something we’ll deal with in the period ahead at the European Commission level,” said Božinović. “Most, if not all, security challenges nowadays are cross-border ones. We can’t deal with transnational and cross-border challenges each within our own borders.”
The two ministers said they had agreed on the signing of a police cooperation agreement that would lead to the removal of administrative procedures to facilitate police cooperation.
Bobnar reiterated that she supports Croatia’s Schengen Area entry and that it is in Slovenia’s interest.
Božinović said that upon Croatia’s Schengen entry, expected at the start of next year, the two countries would be able to act jointly before the Schengen Council. “Our challenges in that sense are similar.”
He recalled that when Croatia joined Schengen, 1,000 police officers would be deployed at spots used by illegal migrants, either deeper inland or at the borders with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia