The Slovenia Times

Slovenia&Croatia Setting Up Joint Border Control


The ministers said after the signing of the agreement at the Croatian Interior Ministry that the countries would continue with their efforts to set up the control points at all of the 57 border crossings where this was technically possible.

Most of the 33 control points that will be set up as of 1 July will be on the Slovenian side of the border, while only two or three will be on the Croatian side, Virant said. But Croatia will nevertheless co-finance their functioning.

He pointed out that this would be one of the first advantages of Croatia's EU accession that would be felt by the citizens as soon as Croatia joins the bloc.

Ostojić announced that a similar agreement would also be signed with Hungary by 1 July and expressed conviction that Croatia would meet all the requirements to apply for entry into the Schengen area in two years.

Virant said Slovenia was "very much interested" in Croatia joining the area as soon as possible. He complemented the country on the work done so far and offered Slovenia's help.

The minister noted though that once Croatia joins the passport-free area the number of employees at the Slovenian police force would need to be cut by 6-7%.

"We are in constant talks with both police trade unions and will try to solve this problem without layoffs. We will try to cut the number of employees in the two years after Croatia joins the Schengen area," he said.

According to the minister, some 250 people are expected to leave the police force each year due to retirement or job change.

The two ministers also highlighted today the "excellent cooperation" between their ministries and both countries' police forces.

They also touched on the preparations for this year's tourist season, especially regarding traffic safety.

Ostojić announced that the countries would also sign a special bilateral agreement on asylum seekers and emigrants which would be in line with the EU legal order.

Also on the agenda today was the cooperation of the countries as part of Brdo Process after Croatia's EU accession. Slovenia has launched the process to help Western Balkan countries on their path towards the EU.

"So far, Slovenia has been the only EU country with a special role in this process, but after 1 July it will be joined by Croatia as the newcomer," Virant said.


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