By: C. R., SDS
Member of Parliament Jožef Lenart addressed a written parliamentary question to the Minister of the Interior, Tatjana Bobnar, and the Minister of Defence Mr. Marjan Šarec regarding the removal of the wire fence on the southern border with the Republic of Croatia.
As SDS member of parliament Jožef Lenart reminded, after the recent government meeting, the minister Tatjana Bobnar said at the press conference: “Removing the border fence, fast and efficient asylum procedures for everyone who is entitled to international protection, respect for human rights is one of the government’s priorities, which also comes from the coalition agreement.”
In addition, Lenart found the following on the website of the Ministry of the Interior: “The fence on the Slovenian-Croatian border was erected as a temporary instrument. It is unacceptable that it should become a permanent element of border policy in a normal migration situation. By doing so, we would communicate to society that migration is a crisis in itself, which is a false assumption. Migration is part of modern societies, its constant in modern times and in the past. In this case, the starting point of the government and the Ministry of the Interior is to advocate for safe routes for migrants and for safe borders for citizens, migrants, and local residents.” (Source: summary from https://www.gov.si/novice/2022-07-08-zacetek-odstranjevata-ograje-na-meji)
“The above contains some illogical statements or statements that have nothing to do with illegal border crossings. One of these is that migration should be a part of modern societies and a permanent part of them,” commented the MP. And he continued that on the website of the police (www.policija.si/o-slovenski-policiji/statistika/mejna-problematika/nedovlene-migracie-na-obmocju-republike-slovenije) a completely different picture can be discerned regarding the migration situation. “According to the findings of the report and according to my understanding, illegal migration increased by 75.5% in the first six months of 2022, compared to the same period last year. 6,006 illegal border crossings were dealt with. This number of people actually entered Slovenia illegally, despite the good work of the border police and despite the technical obstacles,” explained Lenart. And at the same time, he pointed out that among these persons who arrived in Slovenia illegally, as many as 5,200 persons applied for international protection. This is a fourfold increase in requests for international protection compared to the same period last year. In addition to this, police officers found 688 (375) violations inside the country or when exiting at the external border, when foreigners entered Slovenia at the internal borders without appropriate travel documents or without the necessary permits (residence permit or visa). The number is 83.5% higher this year, the MPs also warned.
“According to some experiences of the border police and according to the predictions of the profession, the number of illegal crossings will double after the removal of the fence, according to your predictions, you will maintain the same number of illegal migrations. At the same time, I would like to remind you that your task is to completely stop illegal migration and illegal crossing of the ‘Schengen border’. On the website of the Ministry of the Interior, it is stated that, after the removal, the police will ensure the protection of the state border. That by controlling the areas that represent an increased risk of unauthorised migration, it will ensure an adequate level of security for the border population, the population inside the country or the European Union,” he reminded.
Based on the above, he asked the following in the parliamentary letter:
“1. Did you have in mind all migrations or only illegal ones, or maybe just the so-called legal migration, where migrants cross borders at border crossings by presenting valid identity documents? Of course, there would be no need to set up technical barriers for legal migration.
- What did you mean by normal migration conditions?
- For the Ministry, is the increase in irregularities and illegal activities by foreigners – illegal migrants – normal migration conditions, and therefore the immediate and only expedient removal of the fence on the southern border (Schengen border)?
- Will you be able to protect citizens, without a fence and with the same number of police officers, from possible extremists who escape arrest and control and wander around our country or other EU members?
- Is the basic task of the Police not protecting the life and personal safety of the citizens of the Republic of Slovenia and their property from illegal migrants?
- How will the level of protection be ensured, the reduction of the number of illegal migrations, and how will you succeed in this, given the increased number of illegal border crossings compared to the previous year?
- On the website of the Ministry of the Interior, it is stated that the fence will be removed by the Slovenian Army. According to unofficial information, it would take 150 working days. Is that true?
- Regarding the latter, that the technical barrier (fence) on the southern border will be removed by the Slovenian Army and that this removal could be delayed for 150 working days, I ask the Minister of Defence, how many soldiers are expected to carry out this task? At the same time, I wonder if this will not be reflected in the poor qualification of the military staff due to such a long absence from regular training? Is the main task of a soldier not to train regularly and to be highly qualified for the defence of the country, especially in light of the heightened security situation in our neighbourhood?”