Tighter Schengen rules create chaos on the border
Ljubljana, 5 December - The introduction of systematic checks for all passengers on the EU's external borders a week before Easter holidays on 7 April caused chaos at Slovenia's border crossings with Croatia with kilometres-long queues and hours-long waiting times. The situation added to the tension between the two countries as Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, in a letter to top EU officials, implied the tailbacks were Slovenia's payback for Croatia's withdrawal from the border arbitration process. After a crisis meeting between the prime ministers and the European Commission's president, border police were allowed to switch to targeted checks in rush hours over the holiday season. The situation improved further after Croatia entered the Schengen Information System on 27 June as twin checks on passengers were abandoned. Meanwhile, Slovenia continued to protest unsuccessfully against internal border checks imposed by Austria despite the negligible number of illegal crossings there. In response to the planned updates to the Schengen Code that would enable extension of internal border checks for up to three years, Slovenia called for clear rules which should ensure the measure is proportional and applied selectively.