Slovenian president calls for open borders at meeting of regional leaders

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Slovenian President Natasa Pirc Musar called for open borders at a Monday meeting of regional leaders, which celebrated 20 years of Slovenia‘s accession to the European Union.

She hosted President Alexander Van der Bellen of Austria, President Zoran Milanovic of Croatia, President Tamas Sulyok of Hungary and President Sergio Mattarella of Italy.

“I would really like to call on the governments of our neighbouring countries, and the Slovenian government too, to lift border controls,” Musar told a joint news conference, saying the freedom of movement is one of the most important liberties in the EU.

Slovenia joined the EU in 2004 and entered its border-free Schengen area in 2007. However, following the start of the migration crisis in 2015, when thousands of illegal migrants flooded the Balkans on their way to wealthier European states, some EU states started to put up temporary border controls within the Schengen area to curb illegal migration.

At present Slovenia, Austria and Italy are among the EU states with internal Schengen area border controls.

The leaders also expressed support to further enlargement of the EU, with Van der Bellen stressing the need for changes of the EU which would make it better prepared for the enlargement.

Source: Xinhua

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