Stricter Border Controls Temporarily Suspended

Total Croatia News

After long waiting times at Croatia’s borders on Saturday, the European Union has temporarily suspended the new border control regime.

EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos was informed on Saturday about problems at Croatia’s border crossings, which led to a disproportionate impact on the traffic flow, and on Saturday evening it was decided to temporarily suspend from implementation the new regulations for border crossings controls at Croatia’s border with Slovenia and Hungary, announced the Interior Ministry, reports Jutarnji List on April 9, 2017.

On Friday, new regulation came into force which required border police to check documents of all travellers, regarding of whether they are citizens of the European Union or not. Since the beginning of the application of the new process, despite the use of all available technical and human resources on Croatia’s borders with Slovenia and Hungary, major traffic jams occurred.

Croatian Interior Minister Vlaho Orepić said earlier on Saturday that the police had informed Prime Minister Andrej Plenković about the problems at the borders due to stricter controls and that the regulations should be changed. “Prime Minister is already working on this issue. We are trying to communicate this with those who have made this decision,” said Orepić.

Later in the evening, head of the Border Department at the Police Directorate Zoran Ničeno said that the old regime had been reinstituted. He explained that citizens of the European Union would be subjected to just targeted control, while systematic checks would be kept for third-country nationals. The same process should be implemented by Slovenia and Hungary, due to the fact that there are many joint border crossings.

On Saturday, Slovenia announced that next week it would inform the European Commission about problems that have arisen at the border crossings with Croatia. “Slovenia will send detailed information about the events of the last two days caused by the implementation of new regulations,” said Bostjan Šefic, state secretary at the Slovenian Interior Ministry. He added that Slovenia said in advance that possible problems could occur. He acknowledged that measures for greater security were required, but stressed that their application should “be adapted to the necessities of life,” and said that Slovenia would propose to the European Commission that local residents and commuters should be exempted from new regulations.

Šefic also said that an additional problem was the fact that Croatia still did not have access to the Schengen Information System (SIS), so travellers had to be checked twice. “If Croatia were to gain access to the SIS by June, systematic controls would be easier,” said Šefic.

According to latest information, the situation at border crossings is better than yesterday, but the lines are still long occasionally.

It is not known for how long will the temporary suspension last.


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