Austria, Czechia, and Poland have implemented border controls along their borders with Slovakia in an effort to curb irregular migration
Austria's Minister of the Interior, Gerhard Karner, emphasized the need to act swiftly against human smugglers, stating, "We have to control effectively before the smugglers change their routes. The focus is on combating the brutal and inhumane smuggler mafia. That’s why border controls with Slovakia will be resumed from midnight on Wednesday. The controls carried out so far in the area near the border will be intensified into border point controls."
The Austrian Ministry of the Interior explained that these border checks are necessary to prevent the smuggling mafia from immediately shifting their routes towards Austria. Failing to enforce these controls could result in an alternative route for smugglers through Slovakia to Austria. Austria shares eleven border checkpoints with Slovakia, and these border controls are being coordinated closely with Slovakian authorities. Additionally, border controls with Slovakia and Hungary will continue.
However, Slovakia's Prime Minister Ludovit Odor criticized this decision, emphasizing the importance of finding a Europe-wide solution to the migrant issue. This move comes as Slovakia has reported a significant increase in irregular migration. The Interior Ministry revealed that Slovakia has registered a total of 39,688 migrants from the beginning of the year until October 1, marking an 11-fold increase compared to the previous year. Furthermore, police officials detained 17,529 individuals in the first seven months of this year, a staggering rise of 15,611 compared to the same period in 2022, with the figure reaching over 27,000 by September 3.
Slovakian authorities have also announced their intention to reintroduce border controls along the Hungarian border to minimize the number of migrants using Slovakia as a transit country. Roberto Fico, the winner of the recent elections in Slovakia, supports this move, believing it is necessary to prevent irregular migrants from entering Slovakia and moving further into the European Union.
The situation at the Slovak-Hungarian border presents its own challenges. The Slovak police force currently faces a shortage of nearly 2,000 officers, and the border is nearly four times longer than the Hungarian-Serbian border, leading Police Chief Stefa Hamran to describe the situation on the Hungarian-Serbian border as critical.
In summary, Austria, Czechia, and Poland have implemented border controls with Slovakia to address the increasing influx of irregular migrants, while Slovakia itself faces the challenge of managing the flow of migrants using its territory as a transit route. The situation highlights the ongoing complexities of managing migration within the European Union.
By fLEXI tEAM