The president of Slovenia issued a warning on Tuesday, stating that Ljubljana will take the issue to Brussels if Austria maintained its border controls.
Natasa Pirc Musar told the Austrian news agency APA, “I fear that the first measure will be a notification to the EU Commission and corresponding further steps within the Brussels administration if we don’t reach an agreement soon.”
Vienna has “no argument at all” for border restrictions, she claimed, after eight years of continuous extensions, adding that Slovenia had recently demonstrated “that it can be patient and wants to achieve the solution of problems in other ways.”
She said she was “saddened that Austria does not respect the European legal order on this point.”
Austria announced earlier this month that it would extend border controls with its eastern and southern neighbors Slovenia and Hungary, citing “high migration pressure.”
“I don’t want another summer season where people roast in the tin queue, despite Slovenia and Austria both being in the Schengen area and (the fact that) you should roar across the border,” Pirc Musar added.
The fight against illegal migration can be conducted “with less drastic measures,” the politician affirmed.
Austria imposed border controls on Slovenia in 2015, bypassing EU treaties requiring free passage between members of the Schengen zone.
Pirc Musar had visited Vienna on Monday and met with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, who said after the meeting that he would like to see a swift end to Austria’s border controls with Slovenia.
“I sincerely hope that the existing border controls can be discontinued soon or at least replaced by less drastic measures,” Van der Bellen said.