In response to potential security risks in the border region, Slovenia has announced the extension of border checks at its internal Schengen border with Croatia and Hungary for another 20 days once the current measure ends.
Temporary border controls with Croatia and Hungary were originally introduced on October 21 and previously extended until November 19. Taking into account the current situation, the measure is now being prolonged until December 9.
Announcing the extension of the border controls with Croatia and Hungary, the director of the Uniformed Police Administration at the General Police Administration, Marko Gašperlin, said that such extensions are permissible for a maximum period of two months based on the Schengen Borders Code.
Gašperlin further highlighted the critical reasons behind the temporary reintroduction of border controls.
The police are carrying out targeted border control at the entrance, the concrete reasons are: the increased level of threat in the territory of Slovenia and in the region, the emergence of extremism and radicalisation in the countries of the European Union, which could have a direct impact on the security of Slovenia.
In addition, Gašperlin said that among the reasons for prolonging the measure is also the fear of potential misuse of the Western Balkan migration route for terrorist activities.
The Slovenian police have actively engaged in various measures and activities at border crossings since the introduction of controls. According to the Ministry of Interior, since October 21, the police have dealt with a total of 3,709 unauthorised border crossings, with the majority (3,549) occurring at the border with Croatia.
Moreover, the Ministry reveals that from October 21 to November 13, the country’s police refused entry to a total of 291 third-country nationals who did not meet the entry requirements.
During the same period, the Slovenian police discovered and addressed 54 crimes and 438 offences related to border crossing violations.
The police also took 187 measures in the Schengen Information System and identified 436 additional offences related to road traffic, safety, public order, and peace, among others, during border control operations.
As for unauthorised migration, the Ministry reveals that so far this year, a total of 52,506 irregular migrant entries were recorded at all internal borders. The majority of these entries involved citizens of Afghanistan, Morocco, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Russia.
In addition to irregular border crossings, the Slovenian police dealt with 368 people smugglers this year.