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Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia Push to Eliminate Internal Border Controls Ahead of Summer Season: Streamlining Travel in the Region


Internal border controls between Italy, Slovenia and Croatia might be lifted before the beginning of summer 2024, and replaced with joint police patrols.

The Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Tanja Fajon made such a statement during a press conference held following a meeting of the Slovenia–Friuli Venezia Giulia Joint Committee in Trieste, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

Italy, Slovenia and Croatia are working together to abolish internal border controls within the Schengen area before the summer break. The goal is to start joint police patrols. If the project works well, they could be an alternative to border control.

Slovenian MFA Tanja Fajon

She also pointed out that the Ministers of Interior Affairs of Italy, Slovenia and Croatia had discussed the issue a day before.

According to her, this type of international cooperation between the Schengen states is important, in particular for fighting irregular migration from the Western Balkans route, which is very popular amongst irregular migrants.

I hope that Slovenia and Friuli Venezia Giulia can revert to Schengen soon, because people to people contact, mobility and the movement of people with no border control are very tangible things and they are close to people’s heart.

Slovenian MFA Tanja Fajon

Border Controls Set to Remain in Place Until June

In December last year, the Slovenian authorities decided to extend internal border controls with Croatia and Hungary until June 22, 2024. The same were previously set to expire on December 22, 2023.

At the time, the Minister of Interior of Slovenia, Boštjan Poklukar, had noted that prolonged measures between the two countries were needed in order to prevent terrorism, extremism, people smuggling, and irregular migration, and would not be lifted any time soon.

Later, in January 2024, Italy had also announced its decision to extend internal border checks with Slovenia until June 18, citing concerns about the potential presence of terrorists among migrants reaching the country through the Western Balkan migratory route.

The country had first reintroduced border controls with Slovenia on October 21, 2023, following the Israel-Hamas war and was set to remain in place for only ten days. The same was later extended due to the unchanging circumstances.

The border extensions had occurred after both Italy and Slovenia had pledged to terminate them as soon as possible, in November of last year.

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