Migrants are escorted by Slovenian police officers toward the Slovenian-Austrian border crossing in Sentilj, Slovenia | Photo: ANSA
Migrants are escorted by Slovenian police officers toward the Slovenian-Austrian border crossing in Sentilj, Slovenia | Photo: ANSA

Slovenia and Austria are discussing a proposal by the government in Ljubljana to create a joint border patrol along the border the two countries share. Vienna is evaluating the possibility.

Slovenia has proposed a joint border patrol on its shared border with Austria to that country's government, but Vienna has taken its time in considering the possibility; that's according to sources following a meeting held September 13 between the interior ministers of the two countries, Boštjan Poklukar of Slovenia and Wolfgang Peschorn of Austria. 

Peschorn is in favor of the idea but said the proposal has to be evaluated within the framework of the country's overall situation. 

Slovenia says controls have a negative impact 

Poklukar said control of the Austrian border with Slovenia has a negative impact on both countries, causing economic damage and kilometres-long queues. This is why Slovenia came up with the idea for Austria to suspend checks and institute a joint border patrol force. Austria introduced border controls at its border with Slovenia during the height of the migrant crisis on the Balkan route in 2015, and the measure has been extended since then.

Both countries are part of the Schengen Area. 

Peschorn said the Austrian government would review its position on the borders by mid-October; the country wants to send the message that illegal immigration and human trafficking don't pay. 

Meanwhile, the Balkan route continues to be one of the most-utilized by migrants hoping to reach countries in the European Union. In Slovenia, 27 migrants were stopped between Thursday and Friday of last week along the Slovenian border with Croatia.

The majority of the migrants were Pakistani and Lebanese, according to a statement from Slovenian police. Ten of the migrants had applied for international protection, while the others were sent back to Croatian security authorities. 
 

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