Interior Minister Davor Božinović said on Tuesday that the placement of barriers at the Maljevac border crossing with Bosnia and Herzegovina was envisaged in the Schengen Catalogue, and that the Croatian police were strengthening their human and technical capacities to combat illegal migration as effectively as possible.
The Schengen acquis recommends that border crossings be separated by a barrier, Božinović told reporters.
Asked why barriers were placed at Maljevac, he said they would be placed at other border crossings as well.
A large group of migrants who wanted to illegally enter Croatia had gathered at Maljevac a while ago, he added. “We kept strong police forces there for several days and barriers would certainly help us, in the event that something similar happened again, to cut the costs of our own resources.”
The minister dismissed the interpretation that the barriers were a sign that the Croatian police lacked staff, saying Croatia has one of the largest and best-equipped border police forces in the EU.
“We use our capacities depending on the situation on the ground. We have enough forces and reservists, and we’ll also have reserve police who can be engaged, if necessary, for the tourist season and for other areas, including the border,” said Božinović.