Slovenia is strengthening its border with Croatia with the help of foreign police

Slovenia is strengthening its border with Croatia with the help of foreign police

As of next week, 21 police officers from Estonia, Lithuania and Poland will join the Slovenian police in guarding the border with Croatia, the Ministry of the Interior announced today. Five police officers from Estonia, six from Lithuania and ten from Poland should come to the aid of their Slovenian colleagues. Foreign police officers should join their Slovenian counterparts on Monday.

In front of the Novo Mesto Police Department, they will be welcomed in the morning by the Minister of the Interior, Aleš Hojs, and the Director-General of the Police, Anton Olaj, the Ministry of the Interior announced.

Estonian, Lithuanian and Polish police officers will work in joint patrols with the Slovenian police to protect the external Schengen border. They will have to act under Slovenian law, and Slovenia will be responsible for their work.

The Slovenian police will manage the work of the joint patrols, and the border police officers will act following its instructions. Foreign police officers who will join the Slovenian ones are already familiar with the way they work, and introductory meetings and trainings have been organized. They are familiar with the current situation in the field of protection of the EU’s external border and are instructed in their rights and duties, powers and other details, the Ministry of the Interior explains.

The government was informed of the planned signing of relevant memoranda for such co-operation on 31 April. Today, the Ministry of Internal Affairs explained that such memoranda were concluded with certain EU member states. It is still unclear whether police officers from Poland, Lithuania and Estonia are the only ones to join the Slovenes or whether police officers from other EU countries will arrive later.

In recent days, Interior Minister Ales Hoys has visited Poland and Lithuania, as well as Latvia. The talks focused on preparations for Slovenia’s EU presidency, as well as on the cooperation of foreign police officers in guarding the Slovenian-Croatian border.