The Slovenia Times

Slovenia and Italy to continue joint efforts against illegal migration

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani and Slovenia's Tanja fajon speaks to the press after a meeting. Photo: Bor Slana/STA

Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon and her Italian counterpart Antonio Tajani committed to further cooperation between the two counties in the management of illegal migrations as they met in Ljubljana on 17 March. They said they were in agreement about the need for the issue to be addressed at the EU level.

Fajon stressed that Slovenia and Italy already cooperate well on migration, including through joint police patrols on the border between the two countries. She added that Slovenia would help regulate illegal migration.

There has been mounting concern in Slovenia that Italy might decide - as Austria did a few years ago - to impose border controls citing migratory pressure as a reason.

The Slovenian side has been stressing that the migration situation is far from alarming, and the Slovenian Foreign Ministry has said it has no information that would corroborate recent claims by Italian officials about an increased number of migrants as a result of Russia's hybrid war.

Mixed Slovenian-Italian police patrols have been operating on the Slovenian-Italian border for some time. Their activities include checks of trains, buses and cars crossing the border.

Prior to the meeting, well-placed sources suggested that joint Slovenian-Croatian-Italian police patrols were being considered among the options for better control of this border.

While Fajon and Tajani did not say how far that idea has been developed, Fajon confirmed that "we are looking at ways for Italy, Slovenia and Croatia to jointly secure the external Schengen border".

According to her, the management of migration on the Western Balkan route will be discussed at a trilateral meeting to be held in Rome, probably before the summer.

Tajani agreed that the two countries were cooperating well as regards migration, but he added their efforts would need to be supplemented by actions at the level of the entire EU.

He feels the issue of migration can be solved if stability is secured in the Western Balkans. Thus the two ministers committed to supporting countries in the region on their path to the EU.

The meeting came on the same day that Slovenia announced joint border patrols with Austria have been launched. Initially, the patrols will be conducted until the end of April.


More from Politics