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Today, 25 May 2011, representatives of the Slovenian Police are attending the second event on the occasion of the European Day for Border Guards taking place in Warsaw, Poland.

On the sixth anniversary of its establishment the Frontex Agency (Frontex) (Frontex declared 25 May as the European Day for Border Guards. The celebration of the European Day for Border Guards is taking place in Warsaw, Poland, this year. For a whole week a series of working and presentation activities are going on during which the Frontex wishes to present to the public the mission and the work of border guards in Europe, to increase and improve mutual cooperation and enable the exchange of cases of best practice.

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The central event will be the conference regarding the future of border management in Europe including the role of Frontex. The conference will be accompanied by several professional activities which will also be attended by the representatives of the Slovenian Border Police. They will present their work at numerous workshops, lectures, sessions and exhibition venues. The event which is attended by the representatives of the border police of 27 Member States is aimed at enhancing and improving the recognition of the community of more than 400,000 European board guards. Almost one third of all employees in the Slovenian Police belongs to the Border Police which is why we in Slovenia are also joining the celebration.

The role of the Border Police in the European Union is not only the control of the crossing of the external border and the prevention of illegal migrations and other forms of criminal offences but it is becoming more and more recognized as the key body to provide peace and security in a great region having free movement of people, goods, services and capital. More than a thousand border guards across Europe work to enable us to travel freely into other EU Member States without border control and that the businesses deliver its products to clients on the other side of Europe without any problem.

The Slovenian Border Police is an equal, respected and distinguished member of the family of the European Border Police, thanks to the professional and dedicated work of all of its members, from the representatives of the Border Police Division in the Uniformed Police Directorate, inspectors and sergeants at the Police Directorates and Police Stations, shift supervisors, police officers - controllers and supervisors, to colleagues in the accompanying activities such as training sessions, repatriation of aliens, providing for the operation of the information system, etc.

2010 was a stressful year for the Slovenian police officers but, in spite of an increased number of travellers at border crossings and with organisational and other measures the average waiting period during periods of traffic congestion was successfully lowered. In 2010 border guards were similarly highly successful in discovering forged documents since almost as many as 35 % more forged or modified documents were detected in comparison to 2009. However, the extension of the no-visa regime to the three countries of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia) represents a special challenge since the change has had the impact of a greater flow of aliens coming from these countries due to which the Slovenian Border Police was further overloaded with work.

In the past year the Slovenian Border Guards successfully took part in all forms of cooperation within the scope of Frontex. As many as 22 Slovenian police officers were seconded to direct operational work abroad. In addition, Slovenia hosted two big common operations "Neptune 2010" and "Focal Points 2010" in which approximately 80 foreign police officers took part.

In 2010 as many as 48,348,718 passengers crossed the Slovenian state border. 785 illegal crossing were dealt with. 1,914 illegal entries at internal borders were discovered, 10,585 violations of the Aliens Act and 2,953 violations with regard to illegal residence of foreigners were dealt with. 101 aliens were received from foreign security authorities, 605 aliens were handed over to the neighbouring security authorities and 1,738 aliens were removed from the Republic of Slovenia.

Border Matters and Foreigners

But the success and professionalism of police officers are not measured only in the number of discovered illegal immigrants or discovered criminal offences at the border but have to be recognized in relation to their dealing with travellers at border crossings or inhabitants in the border region since the work of police officers at the border and in procedures with aliens requires a professional and human approach.

We in the Slovenian Police will therefore continue to strive for successful operational work and to enhance the good attitude of Slovenian police officers to Slovenian and foreign citizens.