Slovenian Minister Says Croatia Should Join Schengen, Supports Border Fences

By 18 November 2021
Slovenian Minister Says Croatia Should Join Schengen, Supports Border Fences
Photo: Armin Durgut/PIXSELL

ZAGREB, 18 Nov 2021 - Croatia's admission to the Schengen Area will significantly contribute to the control of illegal migration in the region, and Slovenia continues to firmly support that goal, Slovenian Interior Minister Aleš Hojs said on Thursday.

The minister is convinced that the problem of illegal migration should be addressed with all resources, including border fences.

We are a strong advocate of Croatia joining the Schengen Area, all technical conditions have mostly been met and we are waiting for a political decision, Hojs told reporters in Sarajevo at an international conference on illegal migration management.

The decision on Croatia's Schengen Area membership is expected to be made by summer 2022.

I don't think the final decision will be made before June or July next year, said Hojs.

According to him, shifting the external Schengen border to the south will contribute to better control of illegal migration, and it would be best if an effective control mechanism were established on the Greek borders to shut the Western Balkans route.

Hojs stressed that the situation had deteriorated with the hybrid war of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko against the European Union and the collapse of the Afghan government.

All of that is an additional reason why a large number of irregular migrants are again directed towards Europe and thus destabilize the entire EU, said Hojs, warning that the situation was considerably different than in 2015 because they were no longer welcome in the EU.

He pointed out that everything Lukashenko was doing by pushing migrants toward Poland was undoubtedly a hybrid war and he believes that the EU will not allow the use of migrants as a political tool or weapon.

Hojs warns that a political agreement with Belarus is not working.

Although he believes there is still plenty of room for talks, he considers that EU borders must be secured at all costs, even if it is necessary to raise fences.

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