The Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has said that Italy and Slovenia aim to drop the internal border controls with one another as soon as such a measure is no longer necessary.
Prime Minister Meloni’s statement regarding the restoration of free border circulation was made after talks with her Slovenian counterpart.
Speaking at the Italian government headquarters alongside Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob, Meloni acknowledged the significance of Schengen as an “extraordinary achievement” that must preserved.
According to Reuters, Meloni further stressed that once the situation is under control and the strict border checks are not seen as necessary, all restrictions will be dropped.
We are both aware that Schengen has been an extraordinary achievement that must be preserved. We are jointly committed to restoring the ordinary border regime as soon as conditions allow.
Italy imposed internal border controls with Slovenia on October 21, and since then, the country has been extending the measures.
Back in October, when the controls were officially introduced, Italy cited risks of terrorists among migrants and an increased influx of irregular migrants.
The border controls were initially introduced only for a period of ten days. However, after taking into account the situation, Italy decided to prolong border controls with Slovenia for another 20 days.
Commenting on the extension of this measure, the Italian Minister for Relations with Parliament, Luca Ciriani, said that the decision was taken in agreement with the Svelenian government.
The same emphasised that the duration of the border controls with Slovenia will depend on how international scenarios evolve.
While Minister Ciriani said so, the Italian Minister of Interior, Matteo Piantedosi, said that Italy will most likely keep its internal border controls with Slovenia in place until next year.
Minister Piantedosi considers it necessary to increase further control measures that are in place due to the increased risk of terrorists among migrants who are in transit on the Balkan route.
Italy is not alone in implementing border measures within the Schengen Area. Currently, several other Schengen Member States have internal border controls in place, including Austria, Germany, Czechia, and Poland, among others.
Just recently, Austria decided to prolong its border controls with Hungary and Slovenia for another six months.
The decision to extend the measures for such a long period of time was taken in an attempt to combat terrorism and human trafficking across borders.