Temporary migrant facilities to be set up at the border
Slovenia will set up temporary migrant processing facilities at the Obrežje border crossing with Croatia to cope with the rising number of migrants trying to enter the country illegally.
The government says the reason for the step is the security situation in the broader region with the situation in the countries of origin of migration showing no sign of improvement.
The number of illegal entries into Slovenia increased significantly in 2023 for reasons the state has no control over, the Government Communication Office said on 18 January in announcing the decision to set up migrant processing facilities at the border.
Police statistics show illegal crossings into Slovenia from Croatia rose by 84% last year to 58,193. The figure accounted for 96% of all illegal entries recorded in 2023.
The migrant processing facilities at Obrežje, the former Schengen border crossing on route between Slovenia's A2 motorway and Croatia's A3 linking the capitals Ljubljana and Zagreb, are to be used for a maximum of three years, the government said.
Initially, a fence, three accommodation containers, three tents and two sanitary containers will be set up there. Two more tents will be put up in each of the next two phases. Toilet cabins will be provided as needed.
The government decided for the move because local police stations on the border do not have the capacity to process large numbers of third-country nationals and the Obrežje crossing area makes it possible to set up such facilities quickly.
The government said the arrival of a large number of migrants is "expected and inevitable", but it is not clear when they will arrive and in what numbers, so the state must be prepared to deal with the migrants efficiently, while providing for the safety of both foreigners and locals and ensuring that migrants' rights are respected.
The government intends to carry out all legal procedures as quickly as possible while ensuring that the minimal standards and the rights of migrants are respected. All persons must receive equal treatment no matter how high their number, the government said.
In a bid to stem illegal migration, Slovenia reintroduced police checks at its borders with Croatia and Hungary in October.