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ZAGREB – Interior Minister Davor Božinović stated in the Parliament on Wednesday that there has been a 41 percent decrease in illegal migrant entries in Croatia this year, while neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina has seen a 20 percent increase, which, he emphasized, “speaks to the extent of the engagement that, primarily, the Croatian police are achieving”.

In the parliamentary debate, Božinović emphasized that ‘Croatia is handling this issue the best, and certainly the best when put in the context of the challenges faced by Croatia with the size of its external land border and the Balkan route’.

“This year, Croatia has recorded 41 percent fewer illegal migrant entries, while neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, which sees the largest number of entries, has seen a 20 percent increase. This speaks to the extent of the engagement primarily by the Croatian police,” he said.

He added that the police are working intensively to stop migrant smugglers. “This year we have 973 arrests of migrants, which is already 70 percent more than for the same period last year,” the minister stated.

According to Frontex data from May, in the first four months of this year, the number of illegal entries into the European Union decreased by 23 percent. The largest decrease in illegal entries was recorded on the Western Balkan and Central Mediterranean routes, 69 and 62 percent respectively. On the other hand, there has been a significant increase in illegal entries through the Western African (375 percent increase) and Eastern Mediterranean routes (105 percent) (June 12, 2024).