Slovenia has announced a sharp tightening of its rules of entry for migrants. From now on, border crossing is allowed only for those refugees who are really at a loss and plan to seek asylum in Slovenia.
The refugees who plan to use Slovenia just as a gateway on the way to more prosperous countries will be prohibited from crossing the border.
Many migrants from North Africa and the Middle East come to Europe through Slovenia. Most of them reach Turkey, come to Greece by sea, and then move to other European states through the Balkans.
Just after Slovenian announcement, Serbia claimed it closes its borders with Macedonia and Bulgaria for all the migrants who have no visas or other documents authorizing their stay in the country.
According to analysts, all these measures make the future of the Schengen Area quite controversial.
Eight countries included in the Schengen Area have tightened control over their borders and as a result, thousands of migrants have been practically locked in Greece.
Europe has been facing the largest movement of refugees across the continent since the Second World War. Last year, more than a million people came illegally to Europe.
On Tuesday, Slovenian Prime Minister Miroslav Tserar said that the Balkan route is to be closed for migrants.
According to him, this decision is a part of the general initiative, which encourages all the Balkan countries and Greece to close their borders for illegal migrants.
After Slovenia announced its decision to close its border for refugees, the Serbian government claimed that their country couldn’t afford to become a dead-end place overcrowded with refugees.
Serbia, which is not a member of the EU and the Schengen Area, said it coordinated their migration policy with the EU and applied it to its southern and eastern borders.
According to the Dublin regulation, refugees must seek asylum in the EU country they have reached first. However, the EU discusses possible joint reallocation of refugees.
More than 2,000 migrants, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan come to Greece from Turkey daily.
After the government of Macedonia had closed its border for almost all the migrants and refugees, about 14,000 migrants gathered along the borders of Greece and Macedonia.