Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Slovenian PM Calls for End to Border Controls

Slovenian Prime Minister Golob urges Austria to reconsider border controls, citing their ineffectiveness. Migration figures spark debate. Harmonious discussions on EU asylum reform and minority issues.

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Lisa Fischer
Lisa Fischer
Lisa Fischer is a seasoned journalist with a talent for uncovering hidden stories. With over nine years of experience, she has made a name for herself in the industry with her insightful reporting and writing. Lisa holds a degree in journalism from the University of Vienna and has worked for prominent Austrian newspapers. Her work has been recognized with several awards and she is committed to delivering thoughtful and thought-provoking journalism to her readers. Known for her persistence and integrity, Lisa is a valuable member of the Austrian journalism community.
Slovenian PM Calls for End to Border Controls

Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob visited Vienna to hold discussions with Austrian Chancellor Nehammer regarding border point controls. Golob voiced his belief that the current border controls were ineffective and called for their cessation on the Slovenian-Austrian border. However, Nehammer stood firm in his position, asserting that the controls remained necessary. Despite a rise in migrant numbers, Slovenia has no intention of implementing border controls with Croatia.

Ahead of Golob’s visit, the Austrian Ministry of the Interior released migration figures from Slovenia, revealing a substantial increase in illegal border crossings compared to the previous year. Golob questioned the efficacy of the controls and proposed the consideration of checks on Austrian tourists returning during the holiday season. He emphasized that comprehensive registration of all migrants proved to be a more effective measure in combating illegal migration.

In a bid to address migration flows more comprehensively, Golob put forward a collaborative initiative involving Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia to manage migration across their territories, rather than solely at the borders. Nehammer welcomed the proposition and expressed his commitment to expanding cooperation with Slovenia. Nevertheless, he reiterated the necessity of border controls at the Slovenian border, hinting at the possibility of reassessing the situation in the autumn if the migration pressure subsides.

Beyond the border control dispute, Golob and Nehammer found common ground on other issues. They engaged in discussions on EU asylum reform and stressed the urgency of facilitating swift integration of Western Balkan countries into the EU. Golob lent support to Austria’s proposal for modifying the EU enlargement process to allow for selective integration of accession countries in advance. He cautioned that without such changes, finding solutions for Moldova and Ukraine would prove challenging.

The leaders also presented a united front concerning minority issues. Nehammer recognized Golob as the advocate for the Slovenian minority in Austria, highlighting the expansion of support programs for this community. Golob advocated for the reintroduction of the Slovene language in nurseries and kindergartens, as well as a resolution for the use of the language in Carinthian district courts, which require reorganization due to court mergers.

While not a topic of discussion during this visit, Golob proposed the construction of a gas pipeline from the Croatian Adriatic, traversing Slovenian territory and supplying Austria. This project would reduce Austria’s reliance on Russian gas and received a favorable response from the Austrian side.

Golob’s visit to Austria represented his first since assuming office in May 2022. The two leaders participated in various activities throughout the day, including a city stroll and meetings with other officials.

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