Sunday, 16 December 2018

Croatian Police Dismiss Claims about Migrant Expulsions

ZAGREB, December 16, 2018 - Border Violence Monitoring (BVM), an organisation that documents expulsions and violence against migrants, on Sunday released video footage purportedly corroborating the suspicion that Croatian police systematically expel groups of migrants on the external border of the European Union back to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Croatian Ministry of the Interior dismissed the claim, insisting that border police were applying the principle of deterrence.

The ministry said in a statement it had checked the locations where the footage was made and the actions of Croatian police, and found that the police actions on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina were in line with the law. It dismissed the claim about expelling hundreds of migrants to Bosnia and Herzegovina and stressed that the police applied the principle of deterrence.

BVM said it had received the footage in an anonymous letter. The organisation considers it authentic because of "the extensiveness and level of detail of the material in concordance with other reports".

"The footage was filmed by hidden cameras in a forest near Lohovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, (Coordinates 44.7316124, 15.9133454) between 29 September and 10 October 2018 and show 54 push-backs," BVM said, adding that at least 350 refugees, including small children, minors and women, can be seen in the video.

It said that reports by local non-governmental organisations cite expulsions accompanied by property destruction, violence and theft by police, and that in villages near the border Doctors Without Borders regularly provide medical assistance to migrants injured by police.

The Croatian Ministry of the Interior says that the principle of deterrence is prescribed by the Schengen Border Code and is applicable to an area between two border crossing points open to international traffic, in this case between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. "This is a legal measure available to border police in European countries and is applicable to persons who try to enter their territory illegally, outside border crossing points," the ministry said.

The ministry stressed in its statement that Croatian police act in accordance with the existing law, respecting all high standards of basic human rights.

Any uncontrolled entry of a large number of persons would turn Croatia into a hot spot, which the Ministry of the Interior will never allow, but will use all measures and mechanisms available under national and EU legislation to protect the state border, the statement said.

It said that non-governmental organisations covering Croatian police actions should communicate any relevant information to the police without delay so that an investigation could be urgently carried out in accordance with the rules of criminal investigation. "All else is open to manipulation and misinterpretation of the circumstances of any incident."

The ministry said it thoroughly checks all information available about accusations of the alleged use of force and the commission of crimes against migrants. "So far not in one case has it been found that police officers overstepped their powers against migrants," it underlined.

The efforts made by Croatian police in preventing illegal migration and the manner in which they monitor and guard the state border, which is the longest external border of the EU, are in line with the conclusions of relevant EU authorities and are acknowledged by EU countries that are final destinations of economic migrants. Thanks to the effective work of Croatian police, these countries are not exposed to a bigger influx of migrants, the statement said.

Croatian police remain committed to protecting the Croatian and EU border and safeguarding the security of Croatian and EU citizens, the ministry said.

More news on Croatia’s migrant policies can be found in the Politics section.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Croatian Police Secretly Filmed Illegally Expelling Migrants?

Secretly filmed footage has been released reportedly showing the Croatian police illegally expelling migrants, including children, minors and women, from the country. Border Violence Patrol, which submitted the footage to, guarantees the authenticity of the footage and supports it with GPS data, reports on December 16, 2018.

According to the information provided to, the expulsions were carried out in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), away from the official border crossings and without the presence of the BiH police. Such pushback of migrants, without due process and without the ability to seek asylum, is illegal and violates international laws, including the Geneva Convention.

The Ministry of Interior said they would respond to the footage after it had been published.

Video can be seen on the website.

The footage was submitted anonymously to the Border Violence Monitoring (BVM) organisation. Border Violence Monitoring claims that the footage is the first evidence of systematic pushback conducted by the Croatian police far from official border crossings. They note they consider the footage to be authentic.

The extensive video material was shot by hidden cameras in a forest near Lohovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, covering the period between September 29 and October 10, BVP claims. The footage shows 54 illegal group pushbacks of at least 350 migrants, including women and children, claims BVP. Shooting can be heard on several occasions.

In 240 hours of video, 24 pushbacks were recorded during the day, while 30 were recorded in the dark. The most significant expulsion occurred on October 6, when five policemen deported 55 refugees. On October 9, the highest number of people were expelled. According to the BVP, at least 81 persons were expelled that day in eight separate pushbacks.

Officers have been recorded on several occasions with machine guns and police batons in their hands. On October 4th, a police officer threatens to use a baton, while on October 7, two policemen can be seen forcing migrants to walk in line, and one policeman hits a person.

BVP has also released photos of bullet cartridges. They claim to have found them at the location where the expulsions took place. They additionally claim that ammunition came from the HS-9 Tactical gun, the official weapon of the Croatian police.

Border Violence Patrol guarantees the authenticity of the footage and supports it with GPS data. They say that journalists can receive the original GPS data. They also claim that it is easy to get to the location in Bosnia and Herzegovina and compare it with the footage.

"These expulsions are illegal because they were not carried out at the official border crossings and were conducted without the presence of BiH officials. Also, documents from various organisations suggest that asylum applications filed by refugees have been rejected before the expulsion," the BVP reports. Reports by local organisations show that expulsions are often accompanied by destruction of migrant property, violence and theft.

The Interior Ministry and Minister Davor Božinović have persistently denied allegations and numerous reports about illegal activities allegedly conducted by the Croatian police towards migrants, including physical violence and property destruction.

Translated from (reported by Denis Mahmutović).

More news on Croatia’s migrant policies can be found in our Politics section.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

979 Illegal Migrants Sought International Protection in Croatia This Year

ZAGREB, December 14, 2018 - In the first 11 months of 2018 Croatian police arrested 7,500 illegal migrants, of whom 979 have sought international protection in Croatia while others were returned to the countries from where they had entered Croatia illegally, officials of the Karlovac Police Directorate told reporters on Friday, after a session of the county assembly focusing on security and illegal migrations in that county that borders on Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia.

Police deputy director Josip Ćelić commended cooperation with the police forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia, and dismissed accusations from a part of migrants that Croatian police treat them inhumanely.

"Our police officers help children and adults who are in bad condition, they give them water, food, medical help, and claims about police brutality are absolutely untrue... If police have to defend themselves, they act in line with the law and use legal means of coercion," Ćelić said, recalling "clear cases of migrants inflicting injuries on themselves, deaths caused by rock slides and cases of drowning in rivers".

Karlovac County border police chief Zoran Ničeno said that the number of illegal migrants arrested was 66% higher than in 2017 and that 547 people smugglers were arrested, twice as many as in 2017.

He added that there were eight attacks on police.

More news on the migrant policies in Croatia can be found in our Politics section.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Frontex Coming to Croatia-Bosnia Border

 ZAGREB, December 13, 2018 - Teams of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX) are soon to arrive on the Croatia-Bosnia border because of the migrant pressure, European Commissioner Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis said on Thursday and added that the greatest responsibility for the situation on the border lies with Sarajevo and Zagreb.

Negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina concerning the deployment of FRONTEX teams have been completed and an agreement will be signed soon. That agreement will enable border police to manage the border between Bosnia and Croatia, however, the most important responsibility is in the hands of those two countries, Andriukaitis said during a debate on the status of migrants in Bosnia currently located near the border with the European Union.

Andriukaitis recalled that currently there are 5,139 migrants and asylum seekers being cared for in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Of that number, 3,126 are located in the canton in the northwest of the country near the border with Croatia and about 1,000 migrants have still not requested assistance, he said in a plenary session of the European Parliament during a debate on the issue, moved by Croatian MEP Ivan Jakovčić (IDS/ALDE).

According to Andriukaitis, since June this year, the European Union has provided Bosnia and Herzegovina with two million euro in humanitarian aid and 7.2 million euro through special measures and instruments for pre-accession support, and all the measures are being implemented with the assistance of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), UNHCR and UNICEF.

Over the past few weeks, 180 additional police officers have been deployed to Bosnia and Herzegovina to improve security at the border, Andriukaitis added.

Relations between border police and migrants seem to be positive overall, as EU officials have reported, Andriukaitis said but recalled that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a transit country and the majority of migrants are attempting to cross the border every day.

He said that there was information that Croatian police were abusing migrants on the border with Bosnia, adding that the EC was actively monitoring developments and had informed Croatian authorities of those accusations.

He stressed that the agreement on readmission should be applied to migrants who illegally cross the EU border.

It should be applied without questioning the right to asylum and the obligations that arise from international law, particularly the principle of banning forced readmission, he added.

We all agree that the border between Bosnia and Croatia is the EU's external border and Croatia is responsible to manage that border, he said.

Measures on the EU's external border have to be proportional, they must fulfil fundamental human rights, Andriukaitis said, adding that he was convinced that Croatian authorities would take these accusations seriously and investigate them quickly and thoroughly.

In the ensuing debate, MEP Jakovčić said that he had proposed the debate because of the migrants' difficult situation but also because of the problems facing the local population. He added that the situation was chaotic because on the one hand Croatia was being called out because not everything was quite right with regard to the treatment of migrants while on the other hand, it was expected to protect the EU border.

He added that this was a huge challenge for the European Commission and thanked it for the help it had provided to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the way it was helping Croatia.

MEP Dubravka Šuica (HDZ/EPP) recalled that Croatia was preparing to enter the Schengen area and that Croatian police were doing their best to facilitate the country's entry to that area, and did their work in line with regulations.

She added that the latest data indicated that the number of migrants at the border was 57% higher than last year, with 6,415 more migrants, and warned of the problem of Bosnia and Herzegovina's relaxed visa regime with third countries. "Bosnia and Herzegovina's relaxing its visa regime with certain third countries, primarily Turkey, has led to an increase in the number of illegal entries from Bosnia," she said.

"In any case, it is a fact that work is being done to protect Bosnia and Herzegovina's border, and Albania's and Montenegro's, too, however, Croatia has more border police than all three countries together," she underlined and added that it was necessary to strengthen the asylum system in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other Western Balkan countries.

MEP Tonino Picula, (SDP/S&D), recalled that Croatia has the longest EU land border and that it has not raised razor-wire fences like its neighbours. He underscored that the 6,500 migrants currently in Bosnia and Herzegovina were staying in improvised accommodation close to Croatia's border, which increases the chances of illegal crossing.

He too said that as a member of the Union, Croatia expected to join the Schengen Area as soon as possible and was aware that migration was a global challenge and had therefore supported the UN Global Compact.

More news on Croatia’s migrant policies can be found in our Politics section.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Croatia Rejects Accusations about Police Violence against Migrants

 ZAGREB, December 11 (Hina) - Croatian Minister of the Interior, Davor Božinović, on Tuesday dismissed accusations by Human Rights Watch (HRW) levelled against Croatian law enforcement authorities about police violence against migrants.

"The Croatian police protect the Croatian border, protect the European Union's external border in compliance with the Croatian laws and Schengen Zone rules. They have done that and are doing that in a professional manner. Had it not been so, Croatia would not have received commendations from the relevant members of the EU institutions for the way it is coping with the migrant crisis," Božinović said in Marrakesh on Tuesday.

The New York-based HRW says that Croatian police are turning migrants back to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in some cases violently, denying them the opportunity to apply for asylum. The organisation interviewed 20 people, including 11 heads of families and one unaccompanied boy, who said that Croatian police deported them to Bosnia and Herzegovina without due process after detaining them deep inside Croatian territory.

In response to this criticism, Minister Božinović said that all those objections had been made by people whose attempts to enter Croatia illegally were foiled.

The police check any reported case of violence and maybe somebody would be happier if we managed to find some evidence, but we haven't found anything to corroborate the accusations, the minister said.

Asked by the press if it is possible to safeguard the border without the use of force, he answered that "the police are trained to do so."

He underscored that the Global Compact for the Safe, Orderly and Regular Migrations, endorsed in Marrakesh on Monday, made a distinction between migrants and refugees, and that the majority of those coming to the Croatian borders are not refugees but migrants for economic reasons.

More news on Croatia’s migration policies can be found in our Politics section.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Human Rights Watch: Croatia Pushing Migrants Back to Bosnia

ZAGREB, December 11, 2018 - Croatian police are pushing migrants to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in some cases violently, denying them the opportunity to apply for asylum, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Tuesday.

The New York-based organisation interviewed 20 people, including 11 heads of families and one unaccompanied boy, who said that Croatian police deported them to Bosnia and Herzegovina without due process after detaining them deep inside Croatian territory.

Sixteen of them, including women and children, said police beat them with batons, kicked and punched them, stole their money, and either stole or destroyed their mobile phones.

"Croatia has an obligation to protect asylum seekers and migrants," Lydia Gall, Balkans and Eastern EU researcher at Human Rights Watch, said in Budapest. "Instead, the Croatian police viciously beat asylum seekers and pushed them back over the border," she added.

All 20 interviewees gave detailed accounts of being detained by people who either identified themselves as Croatian police or wore uniforms matching those worn by Croatian police. Seventeen gave consistent descriptions of the police vans used to transport them to the border. One mother and daughter were transported in what they described as a police car. Two people said that police had fired shots in the air, and five said that the police were wearing masks.

These findings confirm mounting evidence of abuse at Croatia's external borders, Human Rights Watch said.

In December 2016, Human Rights Watch documented similar abuses by Croatian police at Croatia's border with Serbia. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported in August 2018 that it had received reports Croatia had summarily pushed back 2,500 migrants and asylum seekers to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina since the beginning of the year, at times accompanied by violence and theft.

In response to a call by the Council of Europe's human rights commissioner to investigate the allegations, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in September denied any wrongdoing and questioned the sources of the information, HRW said.

Police in Donji Lapac, on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, refused to provide Croatia's ombudswoman, Lora Vidović, access to police records on treatment of migrants and told her that police are acting in accordance with the law, HRW added.

In a December 4 letter, Interior Minister Davor Božinović responded to a detailed description of the Human Rights Watch findings. He said that the evidence of summary returns and violence was insufficient to bring criminal prosecutions, that the allegations could not be confirmed, and that migrants accuse Croatian police in the hope that it will help them enter Croatia. He said that his ministry does not support any type of violence or intolerance by police officers.

Croatia has a bilateral readmission agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina that allows Croatia to return third-country nationals without legal permission to stay in the country. According to the Security Ministry of Bosnia and Herzegovina, under the agreement, between January and November 27, Croatia returned 493 people to Bosnia and Herzegovina, 265 of whom were Turkish nationals. None of the people Human Rights Watch interviewed underwent any formal return procedure before being forced back over the border.

The summary return of asylum seekers without consideration of their protection needs is contrary to European Union asylum law, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the 1951 Refugee Convention, HRW noted.

The organisation called on Croatian authorities to conduct thorough and transparent investigations of abuse implicating their officials and hold those responsible to account. Authorities should ensure full cooperation with the Ombudswoman's inquiry, as required by national law and best practice for independent human rights institutions, it added.

The European Commission should call on Croatia, an EU member state, to halt and investigate summary returns of asylum seekers to Bosnia and Herzegovina and allegations of violence against asylum seekers. The Commission should also open legal proceedings against Croatia for violating EU laws, Human Rights Watch said.

As a result of the 2016 border closures on the Western Balkan route, thousands of asylum seekers were stranded, the majority in Serbia, and found new routes toward the EU.

In 2018, migrant and asylum seeker arrivals increased in Bosnia and Herzegovina, from fewer than 1,000 in 2017 to approximately 22,400, according to the European Commission. The Commission estimates that 6,000 migrants and asylum seekers are currently in the country. Bosnia and Herzegovina has granted international protection to only 17 people since 2008. In 2017, 381 people applied for asylum there.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has only one official reception centre for asylum seekers near Sarajevo, with capacity to accommodate just 156 people.

Asylum seekers and migrants in the border towns of Bihać and Velika Kladuša, where Human Rights Watch conducted the interviews, are housed in temporary facilities managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – a dilapidated building, a refurbished warehouse, and former hotels – or they sleep outdoors.

The IOM and UNHCR have been improving the facilities. The EU has allocated over nine million euro to support humanitarian assistance for asylum seekers and migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina. "Just because the EU is sending humanitarian aid to refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that does not justify turning a blind eye to violence at the Croatian border," Gall said. "Brussels should press Zagreb to comply with EU law, investigate alleged abuse, and provide fair and efficient access to asylum."

HRW gave detailed accounts by 13 men, six women and a 15-year-old boy about their treatment by Croatian police.

More news on Croatia’s response to the migrant crisis can be found in our Politics section.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Global Compact on Migration Causes a Split in Croatian Parliament

ZAGREB, December 10, 2018 - Social Democratic Party president Davor Bernardić and MOST leader Božo Petrov agreed on Monday that parliament should have discussed the Global Compact on Migration, but while Bernardić strongly pushed for it, Petrov said it represented a threat to Croatia's security, and Miro Kovač of the ruling HDZ told them they failed to launch a discussion on the document and that they were manipulating and misleading the public.

Bernardić said that when the agenda included topics on which the HDZ could not ideologically agree within its ranks, those topics were pushed aside. He said parliament could still discuss "such an important global agreement." He said that by avoiding a debate, some were bringing unrest into the public sphere, scaring citizens with migrants and trying to score political points. He said migrants did not wish to stay in Croatia.

Bernardić said the Global Compact was not a typical agreement. "It is not signed and it is not ratified, but is a catalogue of measures referring to legal migration and UN member states can choose whether to incorporate them and which are the most acceptable to them."

He said discussing the Global Compact did not suit the HDZ-led ruling majority "because they don't want to confront the radically conservative citizens who voted for them and who see the agreement differently than the government."

Petrov said the Global Compact was a threat to the security of Croatia and its citizens. "Since 2015, our neighbouring countries dealt with the migrant problem together with Croatia, yet today they refuse to go to Marrakesh. Why, if everything about this agreement is all right?"

He said the US, which was Croatia's partner on its journey to independence, did not want to be part of the Global Compact. "Who will we ask for help when all neighbouring countries don't want to be part of that pact? Juncker, whose idea is that not all EU member states are equal?" Petrov wondered why the Global Compact was not discussed at a parliamentary plenary session.

Kovač said Bernardić and Petrov could have submitted an interpellation or asked that a discussion on the Global Compact be put on parliament's agenda. He added that a discussion on the document was organised by the Foreign Affairs Committee at his initiative, and accused Petrov and Bernardić of manipulation and disinformation.

For more news on Croatia’s migrant policies, follow our Politics section.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Interior Minister Attending Marrakesh Migration Conference

ZAGREB, December 10, 2018 - Croatian Interior Minister Davor Božinović is attending the Marrakesh migration conference. He said that until now the UN had never systematically dealt with migration and that if it had, perhaps the big migration crisis which hit Europe in 2015 could have been avoided.

"This is a global problem which the United Nations has decided to start dealing with. The pace it will take is uncertain and how long it will take is also uncertain. However, it's a fact that a solution to a global challenge can be sought only globally," Božinović told Croatian reporters ahead of a meeting on Monday and Tuesday at which representatives of over 100 countries are expected to endorse the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

Asked if one should be afraid of this document, he said there was "absolutely nothing" to fear about it.

"It is a document which I would say is a process of regulating migration in the future so that we don't have what we have on Croatian borders today. On the one hand, there are countries from which people are coming and one should address why they are coming, how to help them stay in their countries. On the other hand, there are countries which want the workforce as well as countries which, like Croatia, are transit countries, and these matters must be regulated."

Božinović said that from the start Croatia's policy had been not to allow illegal entry and strong diplomatic activity. "We have managed to raise awareness in the EU of the issue of countries on the Balkan route because the issue of migration through Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia wouldn't have been on the agenda without Croatia's engagement."

He said that in Marrakesh he would talk with representatives of the countries from which migrants were coming, such as Algeria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey so as to, "not just bilaterally but also at EU level", focus efforts on helping them keep their citizens.

Asked why many countries would not endorse the Global Compact, Božinović said "the majority of EU member states support the agreement" and took part in its preparation. "I think it's a delicate issue. However, Croatia is very clear and transparent about this. We won't allow illegal migration but we are with all those who wish to resolve this issue at the source."

"It is a fact that many actors are using this issue for internal political breakthroughs by releasing news that are unrealistic and untrue. There are also attempts to scare people with the migrant issue but everyone who lives in Croatia knows that we are very firm about this, that we will stay firm and that there's no need to believe those spreading fake news. Migration is here, it won't go away, but the organisation of the Croatian police and the Croatian state guarantees all our citizens and all of Croatia's guests that they will be safe."

Božinović said arrests for trafficking in humans had jumped 88% from 2017 and that this showed how efficient Croatian police were.

"I am sure that we have a realistic policy focused on the well-being of Croatian citizens and if the world comes together about this issue sooner or later, if everyone defuses tensions a little, I'm sure we will start coming closer to solutions. Let's be realistic. Whatever anyone claims, if the EU hadn't reached an agreement with Turkey and if Turkey hadn't closed its borders, who knows what Europe would look like today," he said.

You can find more on Croatia’s migration policies in our special section.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Petrinja Mayor Denies Building Permit for Migrant Centre

ZAGREB, December 7, 2018 - The Mayor of Petrinja Darinko Dumbović told reporters on Friday that town authorities had rejected an application by the Interior Ministry (MUP) for a building permit for a migrant centre to be built in the former refugee camp Mala Gorica and underlined that nothing can be built in the area that is not acceptable for the city.

"I was informed this morning by the department head that the application is incomplete and that it has been rejected," Dumbović said.

Asked whether the town would issue the building permit once the application was completed, Dumbović said that the "state can issue a building permit based on the minister's decision. The county can do that too, however, I want them all to know that nothing can be built in the Petrinja area that is not acceptable for the town."

He added that as a once displaced person himself he empathises with the displaced persons coming to Croatia. "However, Petrinja cannot be Croatia's destination for all its problems. First displaced persons, then a dumping ground for nuclear waste. Displaced persons are coming to Croatia without any order, without documents ... we have to know who is coming and why," he added.

He underscored that it was up to Petrinja residents whether an asylum-seekers’ centre would be built near Petrinja.

The opposition in Petrinja have criticised Dumbović for allegedly negotiating with the state about the migrant centre project behind Petrinja residents' backs. Dumbović in return has sued for slander.

The MUP's Schengen coordination and EU funds department adopted a decision in July to allocate funding for the implementation of the project "Establishing infrastructure and strengthening capacities for an asylum centre in Mala Gorica as part of the European Commission's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund," the Jutarnji List daily reported on Friday.

For more on Croatia’s migrant policies, click here.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Croatia Fulfilling Its Obligations Regarding Migrant Policies

ZAGREB, December 7, 2018 - Croatia is fulfilling all the obligations it took on regarding the EU's migrant policies and no new demands are being put to it regarding migrant policies, Interior Minister Davor Božinović said in Brussels on Thursday.

As far as Croatia is concerned, it is doing everything it undertook to do in 2015 and we are giving our maximum contribution to all the main components of Europe's migration policy, with regard to the prevention of illegal migrations, that is, protection of the external borders, as well as with regard to the issue of solidarity with other member states," Božinović said in Brussels where he was attending a meeting of the EU Home Affairs Council.

He explained that solidarity was reflected in the fact that Croatia had integrated 152 people, Syrian refugees, through resettlement from Turkey, as well as about 80 people who had been relocated from Italy.

Asked whether Croatia had been asked to take on more migrants, Božinović said that that was out of the question.

"That is out of the question. That was taken out of the report on the implementation of the European migration programme. There were some ideas of that nature but they are primarily directed at those countries that haven't shown even an iota of solidarity. Croatia allows legal migrations to the point of it being sustainable for Croatian society and is doing it in such a way that it is not causing any resistance. These people have been integrated, children are going to school and there is no drama over the issue of migrants in Croatia whatsoever," he said.

He underscored that Croatia was confirming its credibility in all relevant elements and that today it was publicly commended for that. "Today Croatia was publicly commended by the chair of the Council of the EU and several other countries for the work of its border police. There was even a proposal that the expertise and experience Croatia's border police have, be shared with other member states," he said.

Božinović also said that he had spoken with some of his counterparts in the EU about the Global Compact on Migration that will be adopted next week in Marrakesh and the fear that it is causing in some member states.

"The thing that sets Croatia apart from other countries that some people in Croatia are referring to, such as Austria and Italy, is that those countries have hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants on their territory and they have their view of that problem. We need a common approach to that global problem that can only be dealt with globally and so far, no one has created any other global organisation but the UN," Božinović concluded.

For more on Croatia’s migrant policies, click here.

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