Due to the amendment of the Schengen border code, Slovenia will introduce reinforced checks of all travelers at border crossing points at its southern border. Systematic checks of all persons, including citizens of the European Union, will begin at the end of next week, on 7 April 2017.
Regulation (EU) 2017/458 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 amending Regulation (EU) 2016/399 as regards the reinforcement of checks against relevant databases at external borders was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (L 74/1) on 18 March 2017. It concerns the amendment of the Schengen borders code, which will change the current standards of performing border checks of citizens of the European Union and other persons who enjoy the right to free movement.
If so far it was enough for border police officers to carry out basic controls of EU citizens, by quickly and simply checking the validity of their travel documents, the same travelers will now be subjected to systematic border checks against the following databases: Schengen Information System (SIS), Interpol’s database of Stolen and Lost Travel Documents and national databases for stolen, misappropriated, lost and invalidated travel documents.
Police officers will check travel documents of all persons with special readers, document by document at every crossing of the border. At the border crossing points where border controls are performed jointly with Croatian authorities, the same procedure will be carried out also by Croatian police officers.
For this reason, border control procedures will take longer and waiting times to cross into and from Croatia at certain border crossing points will increase, particularly at peak times (bank holidays and tourist season).
Systematic checks are being introduced in order to prevent any threats to internal security and public order of Member States regardless of the origin of such threats, which is why EU citizens are included. The introduction of checks was influenced by the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, many of whom are EU citizens. The change, which will start to be implemented on 7 April 2017, will contribute to the limiting of risks at entry to or exit from the EU.
Even though the Slovenian police will draw on all legislative, infrastructural and personnel resources to minimize the influence of the amended legislation, it will be impossible to fully avoid longer waiting times due to the systematic border checks.