Minister: Croatia Will Not Change Its Policy Towards Migrants

By 17 September 2019

ZAGREB, September 17, 2019 - Interior Minister Davor Božinović has said that Croatia will not change its policy towards migrants, which has been recognised by the European Commission, underscoring that the country will continue reinforcing the protection of its borders against irregular crossings and, in parallel, enable the integration of migrants who want to stay in Croatia.

"We are ready to respond to any situation in the event of a stronger influx (of irregular migrants)," Božinović told reporters at an international conference on homeland security in Zagreb on Tuesday.

Addressing the conference, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović warned about possible recurrence of migrant crisis, and said that Croatia would respond to such developments in a responsible manner, protecting its borders.

In his comment on the president's speech, the minister told reporters that, being a sovereign state, Croatia protected its territory and had reinforced human and technical capacities to that end.

He noted that the developments in the Middle East and north Africa are being followed, as those areas are sources of a large number of migrants. "Currently, there is no direct threat," Božinović said, adding that Croatia had stepped up control of migrations.

He also underscored a rise in the number of arrests of migrants' smugglers as a result of both higher pressure from migratory routes and improved efficiency of law enforcement authorities.

The minister commented on Croatia's obligation to integrate migrants relocated from Greece, Turkey and Italy.

"Some 252 people have been integrated in Croatia under that scheme, and the process is going on well," Božinović said, recalling that the government assumed that duty in 2015.

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