President Sends Letter to EU on Border Controls

By , 20 Apr 2017, 16:29 PM Politics
President Sends Letter to EU on Border Controls Source: N1

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The European Commission did not want to comment on the letter.

The European Commission does not have a special comment on the letter sent by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović on the recent problems with strict border controls. The EU is ready to assist all member states in implementing new measures of systematic border controls in order to meet the security targets and at the same time avoid negative effects on traffic flow, said a spokeswoman for the Commission on Thursday. “We have no specific comment on the letter. We have received it and will respond to it,” said spokeswoman Mina Andreev, reports Večernji List on April 20, 2017.

Spokeswoman Tove Ernst, in charge of internal affairs and migration, said the Commission was in constant contact with all the member states and was ready to help implement the new regulations in the best possible way. “At the Commission's initiative, we organized a meeting of the Border Working Group on 12 April. At that meeting, the Commission provided additional explanations on how member states should implement rules and procedures, and what member states should do if they want to move from systematic to targeted controls at certain border crossings and for a limited period of time. That must be based on risk assessment and should not jeopardize the overall security,” said Tove Ernst. She added that the next meeting was scheduled for 28 April.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović sent a letter on Wednesday to presidents of the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission, warning the European leaders that Slovenia's use of stricter controls had caused long lines at border crossings. She urged them to facilitate the flow of people and goods on the Croatian borders.

President added that such action by Slovenia “gave rise in the Croatian public to the feeling that it is witnessing the implementation of earlier irresponsible announcements by certain Slovenian politicians who said that Slovenia could take measures towards Croatia and prevent the arrival of tourists as a means of coercion or retaliation, given Croatia's position on arbitration proceedings between Croatia and Slovenia.”

Prime Minister Plenković on Thursday commented on the situation following the entry into force of the new system of systematic checks of all passengers at border crossings. He announced that Croatia would use all possible means to resolve the problem at the border crossings and said that the strict application of the European regulations on border control for Croatia was “unsustainable.”

“For Croatia, as a country which is preparing to enter the Schengen Area and wants to make a contribution to the fight against terrorism, it is simply untenable to enforce such regulations on the border with other EU members,” said the Prime Minister.

“For us as a tourist country, in which tourism represents 18 percent of GDP, and for normal functioning of traffic and security, this situation cannot be acceptable,” said Plenković. He reminded that Croatia, due to long lines, had moved from systematic to targeted border controls. Hungary did the same, but Slovenia did not. “We will strive in a dialogue with Slovenian partners to change the regime,” said Plenković. "In any case, we will use all possible legal, institutional and political tools, through dialogue within the European Council, to solve this problem,” he stressed.

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Croatia Traffic Info

  • The roads are wet and slippery in Gorski kotar mountain area and in the northern coastal area. During the day difficulties can be expected in roadwork areas - there are traffic jams on the A1 motorway after Lučko paytoll 5th-8th km in direction Karlovac, 20th-19th km in direction Zagreb. In Učka tunnel in Istria one lane is free only tonight (25 April) 10pm-6am. Drivers are invited to keep distance and to adjust the speed to road conditions. With the bad weather the headlights have to be on during the day as well. One lane is free only/traffic is flowing in reduced lanes on the following motorways:-A2 Zagreb-Macelj between Zaprešić and Zabok junctions 20th-18th km in both directions; -A3 Bregana-Lipovac between Kutina and Novska junctions 119th-120th km in both directions; -A6 Rijeka-Zagreb at Svilno viaduct 78th-80th km between Orehovica and Čavle junctions in each direction till 1 June; -A8 in Istria on the section Lupoglav-Učka tunnel. Roadworks on the A4 Zagreb-Goričan motorway (Zagreb detour road): - till 9 June traffic is suspended in the entrance lane of Kraljevečki Novaki from direction Sesvete and Dugo Selo towards Ivanja Reka junction, there is a local detour; in the roadwork area traffic is flowing in reduced lanes; - till 26 April traffic is suspended in the exit lane of Popovec junction from direction Goričan towards Popovec, detour for direction Vrbovec-Popovec: Sveta Helena junction (A4)-Sveta Helena-DC3 Goričica-Belovar-Žerjavinec-Soblinec-Popovec junction, for direction Goričan (A4)-Sveta Helena: Komin junction (A4)-DC3-Sveti Ivan Zelina-Donja Zelina-Žerjavinec-Soblinec-Popovec. Lepenica rest area (at 57th km) on the A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorway is closed till 15 June, the previous rest area and petrol station is the one Ravna Gora (at 30th km), the next one Cernik-Čavle (17,8 km away from Lepenica). Due to roadworks traffic is suspended: -on the DC1 state road in Lučko and Stupnik (Zagreb); -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Posedarje; -on the DC6 state road, section Glina-Dvor border crossing, detour: Glina (DC37)-Petrinja-Hrvatska Kostajnica-Dvor. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only:-on the DC1 state road in Knin until 14 July; -on the DC1 state road at Klinča Sela, Tušilović and Mostanje; -on the DC1 Sinj-Klis Grlo state road at Dicmo; -on the DC8 Adriatic road on the section Kaštel Stari-Kaštel Gomilica, at Podstrana, on the section Zaton Doli-Bistrina, at Srebreno; -on the DC66 Pula-Most Raša state road; -on the DC75 Poreč detour road, section Vrvari-Bijela; -on the DC62 Veliki Prolog-Metković state road at Most Metković.
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  • During the day difficulties can be expected at the border crossings with Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary due to traffic density and occasional additional controls. Passenger traffic is dense at: -Bregana (an hour) and Kaštel (30 minutes) in the outbound direction. Freight traffic is heavy at: -Ilok (30 minutes), Erdut (2,5 hours) and Tovarnik (3,5 hours) in the inbound direction, -Tovarnik (30 minutes), Rupa (30 minutes), Pasjak (45 minutes), Bregana (3,5 km) and Bajakovo (2 km) in the outbound direction. In the inbound bus traffic there are delays at Erdut (2,5 hours), in the outbound at Pasjak (45 minutes) and Rupa (30 minutes). Due to roadworks at Županja and Slavonski Brod border crossings delays can be expected. At Harmica border crossing traffic is allowed for vehicles up to 7,5 tonnes only.
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  • Rijeka-Rab-Novalja, Split-Hvar-Vela Luka-Ubli and Split-Hvar-Korčula catamarans do not operate due to strong wind. Zadar-Ošljak-Preko ferry does not stop at Ošljak port. Other ferries operate regularly.
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