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Press Release

12.10.16

The state needs to implement all measures necessary in the event of an increased migration flow

The Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovenian Police have been closely monitoring the situation in the neighbouring states and the wider region. Some analyses and evaluations show that certain regions near the border with Croatia may witness an increased number of illegal border crossings. 

These regions are located on the migration routes crossing the Western Balkans and continuing towards Austria and other destination states in Western Europe. According to evaluations, the number of migrants who have an interest in travelling north, towards Western Europe, and are currently located in the states of the Western Balkans, including Greece, amounts to 90,000. The possibility of increased illegal Slovenian-Italian border crossings also cannot be excluded. Therefore, the fieldwork and operational procedures in cooperation with other EU members and the surrounding states are in full speed. 

The Slovenian Police have been intensively operating in almost every state near the Western Balkans migration route. On the state level, various measures for the management of possible increased illegal crossings at the green border, border crossing points, as well as within the state, have been adopted. Some legal solutions have been prepared in case all predicted measures and agreements fail, putting Slovenia under an immense pressure of the illegal migrations. While everyone would like to prevent such situations, it is also the responsibility of the state to protect the interests of its citizens.

 

Regardless of a slight increase in the number of illegal Slovenian border crossings, the current situation is not alarming. The persons who entered the territory of the Republic of Slovenia illegally have already been handled by the Police. In accordance with the bilateral agreement between Slovenia and Croatia, Slovenia has the right to return those illegal migrants for whom there is no doubt that they came from Croatia within 72 hours by executing a rapid informal procedure. Such procedures are going well and, for now, Croatia has complied with all its obligations. Those migrants who cannot be returned to Croatia within 72 hours through an informal procedure are transported to the Aliens Centre in Postojna. The numbers of migrants remain manageable and the Police perform their activities according to their procedures and capacities, and especially without causing any inconveniences for the citizens.

 

Slovenia is planning to establish reception centres at the borderline with Croatia to ensure the safety of the people who live near the boarder, since it is only logical to deal with persons who were caught crossing the boarder illegally near the boarder with Croatia, at the place of return. Illegal migrants will therefore be registered, treated, taken care of and supervised appropriately. If such accommodation and registration centres are not established, it will be more difficult or even impossible to ensure a proper treatment of migrants and a quick return or placement. This may result in an increased safety risk and threat to the locals and, later on, to the entire population. Slovenia must not and will not allow this to happen.

 

The registration centres will be established only if the current police stations are not able to manage the situation. These temporary, closed-type centres will be under constant supervision of the Police and immediately closed down if no longer needed. In accordance with the previously mentioned bilateral agreement, migrants will be accommodated at the centre for a maximum of 72 hours, i.e the duration of the procedure for the return to Croatia.

 

The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia will ensure that the migrants staying at the centres will be provided with emergency medical assistance, and that children and unaccompanied minors will be taken care of appropriately. The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities of the Republic of Slovenia, which also participates in the process of the registration centres establishment, will activate social workers if the need arises. The logistics are normally organised by the Ministry of the Interior and the Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief of the Republic of Slovenia, while other providers will also be involved if necessary. The activities within the registration centres will be carried out by people working in the public sector and by performing public works, whereas various humanitarian and non-governmental organisations will also participate in handling the situation appropriately.

 

Registration centres will be composed of a registration section, where the procedures will be carried out, and the accommodation section. All transports to and from the registration centres will be carried out by the Police to ensure an optimal control over migrants and a higher safety level for the locals. This is important as, without such centres, the migrants would be able to move freely, which might lead to conflicts with the locals and consequently to an aggravated security situation.

 

The Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Slovenia is constantly seeking solutions that would have a minimum effect on the lives of citizens and which would ensure safety, order and peace, as well as smooth operation of the state. The Ministry as well as key municipalities and local communities are in constant contact with each other. The Ministry informs them of the latest situation developments and plans, emphasising the need to ensure the safety for citizens. The Ministry is making efforts to reach a joint agreement on how to deal with an increased number of illegal migrants in such a manner that the local community is not affected; however, the municipalities and local communities are expected to cooperate and remain open for a constructive dialogue.


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