Slovenia and Italy reinstate border controls, citing security concerns News
US Customs and Border Protection, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Slovenia and Italy reinstate border controls, citing security concerns

Slovenia announced temporary border controls with Croatia and Hungary on Saturday, citing increased security concerns, as reported by Slovenia’s state media organization STA. The border controls are set to be in effect for at least 10 days. The measure follows Italy’s decision to do the same at its border with Slovenia.

The Slovenian government cited security threats posed by individuals affiliated with terrorist and extremist groups who might attempt to enter Europe from conflict zones, expressing concerns about ongoing conflict in the Middle East exacerbating these issues. They also mentioned a rise in organized crime in the western Balkans as a reason for this action.

Italy’s decision to introduce controls on its border with Slovenia was also driven by security concerns, with authorities in the northeastern border region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia identifying 16,000 individuals who entered Italy illegally via the Slovenian border earlier this year.

Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, and Hungary are part of the Schengen area, which allows for free travel within member countries. However, the Schengen agreement permits member states to reintroduce temporary border controls in the event of a serious threat to public policy or internal security.

Slovenia and Italy’s actions reflect Europe’s recent concerns about security, particularly related to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. European Union interior ministers have been discussing how to manage the impact of the war on the 27-nation bloc, especially in light of recent incidents like a firebomb attack on a synagogue in Berlin and killings in Belgium by suspected Islamic extremists.