Less than a year since Croatia’s border crossings were lifted after becoming part of the Schengen Zone, temporary controls have once again been introduced as part of efforts to halt irregular migration.
Similar concerns have pushed several EU countries to reintroduce controls along their borders to prevent people from attempting to reach their countries in an unlawful way.
On December 8 last year, the European Council decided to lift the controls with Croatia. The decision was implemented on January 1, 2023.
From January 1 2023, checks on persons at internal land and sea borders between Croatia and the other countries in the Schengen area will be lifted. Checks at internal air borders will be lifted from March 26 2023, given the need for this to coincide with the dates of the IATA summer/winter time schedule.
Besides, it noted that from January 1, 2023, Zagreb would also begin issuing Schengen visas and fully use the Schengen Information System.
However, the war between Israel and Hamas and fears over irregular border crossings led several countries in the EU to introduce similar measures, with Croatia, Slovenia and Italy becoming the latest EU countries to initiate frontier checks.
Last month, the government of Slovenia announced that it would initiate controls with Croatia and Hungary. The decision became effective on October 21 and was planned to remain effective for ten days.
There is a need for immediate action to ensure public order and security of our citizens as well as the citizens of the European Union.
Controls were initially prolonged until November 19, but now the government said they would remain effective for 20 days.
Highlighting that the measure is allowed for a period of two months under the Schengen Border Code, the decision was confirmed by the director of the Uniformed Police Administration at the General Police Administration, Marko Gašperlin.
The figures from the European Union Border and Guard Agency, Frontex, previously revealed that 331,600 irregular border crossing attempts have been detected in the first ten months of this year.
Frotnex’s statistics revealed that the Western Balkan route was the second most active route in September this year, accounting for a total of 97,300 detections.
Besides, the figures provided by Frontex last year revealed that nearly half of the over 300,000 people used the Balkan route. It accounted for the highest increase since the 2015-16 refugee crisis.