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Slovenia Weekly

On the road

28.04.2017

Source: Mostphotos
Today is Friday, 28 April, a date which in Slovenia falls between two holidays that, for most of us, traditionally signify the start of the warmer part of the year, when – along with many of our neighbours from further north – we migrate en masse to the Croatian coast and back.

This year we are all more than usually on edge as we wait to depart. Unfortunately, this travel fever is not only caused by an impatient desire for a holiday: there is also an element of worry about the situation at the border and how long we will have to wait. Yet implementation of the EC regulation at the external Schengen border represented by the national border between Slovenia and Croatia is not only causing problems for tourists who want to reach their destination. Above all, it affects those people living on either side of the border in the vicinity of the border crossings and along the roads leading to them.

When this regulation was being drafted, several months before its adoption, Slovenia proposed the introduction of milder measures, in the full awareness of what its implementation would mean in practice. Unfortunately, however, it failed to convince the majority of EU member states, who voted in favour of the regulation, while both Croatia and Slovenia abstained. As the Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar stated in a recent interview, "this is a common measure of the European Union as a whole designed to increase the security of all of us" and as a member of the Schengen system, Slovenia has an obligation to protect the borders. When possible, however, it can and will apply milder measures, the Prime Minister added. This is also the reason why PM Cerar wrote to EC President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday and expressed his expectation that the European Commission will lay down concrete guidelines to improve the flow of traffic at border crossings on Slovenia's southern border.

However. Wrapped in the cotton wool of our comfortable Central European daily lives, we easily forget why we celebrate International Workers' Day and the Day marking the start of the wartime resistance movement – despite the fact that workers' rights and peace and security are less and less something that can be taken for granted.

Perhaps we will find time to think about this as we wait in the queue at the border.

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