Slovenia is likely to extend border checks at its borders with Hungary and Croatia, which were scheduled to expire today.
Slovenia implemented border controls at the end of October in response to a more tense security situation amid the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict. The controls restored checks between Slovenia and Croatia, which formally ended last January when Croatia joined the Schengen zone. The use of intra-Schengen border controls has increased since the 2015 migrant crisis in Europe and comes amid a gradual hardening of immigration policy across the continent.
The EU is likely pushing for more controls to be undertaken at the bloc’s external borders as well as in third countries that neighbor the bloc to allow for more coordinated inflows to the bloc. Such policies may allow the EU to obtain more strategic autonomy to behave as a cohesive geopolitical actor in the future, with the bloc increasingly mirroring the structures of a sovereign state. However, a more restrictive immigration policy could also hurt the EU’s humanitarian reputation in terms of providing protection to refugees. Additionally, stricter immigration policy in the EU could shift the burden of handling refugees onto Middle Eastern and North African countries leading to worsened relations.
Cian is a Research Analyst and contributes to both Analysis and the Daily Brief. He specializes in Australian and European geopolitics with a particular interest in the strategic autonomy of the EU.