Rome: Interior Minister of Slovenia Boštjan Poklukar, together with his counterparts from Italy, Matteo Piantedosi, and Croatia, Davor Božinović, have urged to strengthen cooperation in patrolling the borders along the Western Balkan route.
Their comments came during a trilateral meeting held in Trieste while agreeing on steeping up mixed border patrols, thus introducing joint centres for police coordination and holding regular meetings of relevant ministers and police commissioners from these three countries, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Italian Interior Minister said that data after the first ten days of reintroducing border controls on Schengen borders inspires optimism and shows that the measure has been effective, emphasising that the measure was implemented in Italy in a way that it didn’t bring major problems for cross-border workers.
The Italian Minister reiterated that controls were reimposed following terrorism threat analysis, and they will be prolonged until the situation ameliorates.
Piantedosi said that three measures were agreed in the meeting: the establishment of a permanent structure for the organisation of mixed police brigades, the establishment of joint police coordination centres, and the decision to turn such trilateral meetings into a regular thing.
Interior Minister of Slovenia, Boštjan Poklukar, expressed his hopes that some other country will decide to become part of this initiative.
According to him, the problem of visa policy would have to be resolved at the EU level, stressing that the three ministers were committed to ensuring that internationals no longer reached the Western Balkan states as tourists and then headed west.
The Minister also expressed his support for Bulgaria and Romania’s accession to the Schengen Zone as well as for the operation of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Poklukar also announced that this week, Bosnian Minister of Security Nenad Nešić will visit Slovenia.
According to the statement provided by the Government of Slovenia, Croatia’s Interior Minister, Davor Božinović, considers abuses of asylum policy at the EU level as the main problem.
He emphasised that all nationals from third countries reaching Slovenia and then Italy from Croatia are registered. Božinović believes that mobile police patrols are more effective than controls at main border crossings.
The mixed patrols caught more than 500 smugglers of illegal migrants so far this year and detected some 26,000 illegal border crossings.
The statistics from the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) revealed that in the first nine months of this year, there were detected a total of 279,350 irregular border crossing attempts at the EU’s external borders, with the Western Balkan migration route accounting for the most active route in September this year.