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Austria and Slovenia start border patrols


In a bid to prevent irregular migration between Austria and Slovakia, the border authorities of both countries have agreed to start carrying out joint border patrols.

The move follows previous agreements between the Slovenian police with other neighbouring countries – Italy, Croatia, and Hungary – to carry out joint border patrols at the common borders, also targeting unauthorized migration, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Last week, however, joint mixed patrols, consisting of members of the Slovenian and Austrian police, began operating. Combined patrols, which will initially carry out their work until the end of April, will also be joined by joint intensified controls,” the Slovenian police has announced through a press release published in their official website.

The same has also pointed out that mixed patrols have been carried out at the common border with Slovenia and Italy since 2019, in the areas of the Koper and Nova Gorica police administrations.

Whereas the patrols at the Slovenian-Croatian have been carried together with the police of Croatia for quite some time now, though the same have further been strengthened on January 1, 2023, when Croatia became a Schengen Area member.

With Hungary, on the other hand, border controls take place four times every month, two of which in the area of the Murska Sobota Police Department on the Slovenian side, and the other two on the Hungarian side.

The Slovenian border police also claim that the need to extend the work of mixed patrols is assessed periodically, pointing out that the country is part of the common routes taken by migrants to reach Western Europe.

According to the same, in 2022 alone, the EU border agency, Frontex, has recorded 330,000 illegal crossings at the EU’s external borders, an increase of 64 per cent compared to 2021, and at the same time, the highest number recorded since 2016.

In Slovenia, the migration authorities have processed 32,024 unauthorized border crossings throughout last year, which is quite higher than 2021, when 10,198 unauthorized crossings where processed.

Despite the free flow of passengers, Slovenian police officers continue to ensure the safety of Slovenia and the entire EU,” the police claims in its press release.

Aside from the joint border patrols, currently, there are also internal border controls at the border between Austria and Slovenia, performed by the Austrian side, in a bid to tackle secondary movements, increase in irregular migration flows, smuggling activities, and illegal entry of potential terrorist threats.

The controls are set to remain in place until May this year, but they might be extended further as it has happened several times now.

Austria also has internal border controls in place with Hungary for the same reasons as with Slovenia, whereas Germany performs controls for arrivals from Austria due to fears of secondary movements, smuggling, and strain on national refugee reception facilities, as the need to increase the security of critical infrastructures, set to be in place until May 11, but also extendable.

Source: schengenvisainfo