The Slovenia Times

Slovenia Against Border Checks for All Passengers on Outside EU Borders



Two options were discussed; a systematic control of all travel documents and persons on the external border and checks on the basis of common risk indicators, said Latvian Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis, who supports tougher measures.

Slovenia is opposed to the first option, as it would mean checking all passengers on entry or exit. This would be a big burden for Slovenia, considering it has some 55m passengers, 45m of whom EU citizens for whom the measure would apply, Interior Ministry State Secretary Boštjan Šefic said in Brussels.

He said the measure would make waiting times at border-crossings substantially longer, especially during the peak summer season. Šefic also voiced doubt about the effectiveness of the measure, which would not be based on common risk indicators. "Excessive control can be very ineffective."

The ministers agreed that the measures must be targeted and based on common risk indicators, which are to be prepared by the European Commission in about a month and a half as a basis for further work. Proposals can also be made by member states.

While debate on the fight against terrorism focused on effective application of Schengen rules to enhance external border control, the ministers also discussed internet content inciting terrorism and extremism, the fight against illicit trade of fire arms and boosting information exchange and operative cooperation.

Slovenia is considering the possibility of imposing a preventive temporary confiscation of travel documents of potential terrorist fighters. Working material is ready. Once the interest of the country's security is defined the measure may be put forward, the state secretary said.

The Interior Ministry has drawn up a report on activities in the legislative field at the request of the National Security Council, detailing changes that will make the work of the law enforcement authorities easier, Šefic said, adding that changes in the penal code were not necessary for now.

The ministerial also discussed the migration pressures from Kosovo with the most affected countries, Germany, Austria and Hungary, calling for setting up a task force for the Western Balkans similar to the one tasked with dealing with the migration issue in the Mediterranean.

Slovenia called for a comprehensive approach to resolving the situation in the Western Balkans, underscoring the situation in the region was unlike that in Africa or in the east, according to Šefic, who said the reasons for migrations in the Western Balkans were economic and social ones.

Slovenia urged dealing with the causes of the problem, also by tapping the existing initiatives, including the Brdo Process, launched by Slovenia and Croatia. "Fragmentation through various initiatives that have no real effect often costs precious time and energy," Šefic said.


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