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The Republic of Slovenia will hold a ceremony on 31 March 2008 at 16.30 hours at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport to celebrate the abolition of border controls on internal flights in the Member States of the Schengen area.

Official speeches will be given by Janez Janša, Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia and President of the European Council; Rui Pereira, Minister of the Interior of the Portuguese Republic and Dr Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner responsible for Science and Research. Representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament and EU Council General Secretariat will be invited to attend the ceremony.

In November 2007, the Council of the EU concluded that the necessary conditions for adoption of the Council Decision on full application of the provisions of the Schengen acquis had been met. The entry into force of the Council Decision allowed for the lifting of checks at internal land and sea borders on 21 December 2007, while on 30 March 2008 border checks will be lifted at air borders as well. This is undoubtedly a very important event for all Member States of the Schengen area, as it represents the final step in their accession to Schengen. Efficient implementation of measures at the external border and inside the area is in the security interest of the EU, preventing illegal migration and other types of cross-border crime.

The final step of Schengen enlargement -controls at internal air borders to be abolished in late March