29th October 2015
The migrant crisis is causing many European countries to tighten up their border controls, with many of them choosing to erect high security fencing at their borders, particularly those with Eastern European nations, through which many migrants travel after landing in either Turkey or Greece via boat. So far, the perimeter fences that have been erected have only moved the crisis elsewhere, rather than provide a solution, but governments across Europe are still opting to build more border defences. Now, another country has announced that it will be erecting a high security border fence.
Austria has confirmed this week that it will be adding more security to its border with Slovenia, a country through which many migrants are making the journey to Central and Western Europe. Many of them travel through Slovenia via Croatia or Hungary, after Serbia, Macedonia, and Greece or Turkey. They use the border crossing between Slovenia and Austria to reach Germany, which has pledged to take more migrants and refugees than any other European nation, and as a result is the destination of choice for many people fleeing war torn countries to come to Europe.
Following a government meeting, the Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann stated that they would begin work on a border fence at the Spielfeld crossing, the main crossing point from Slovenia. However, he also made it clear that this fence would not be like that erected in Hungary, with barbed wire and mesh, but would be to improve security and allow border officials to carry out checks on people crossing into the country.
However, many people have criticised the plan, saying that erecting a fence would only create a bottleneck at the crossing, and would cause more trouble than it planned to solve. Human rights experts are also worried about the possibility of stampedes, crushing, and outbreaks of violence. Germany’s interior minister Thomas de Maziere has also criticised the plan publicly in the press. The European Union is yet to comment, although it has tried to solve the crisis so far without border reinforcements. How this security fence affects the refugee crisis in Europe, however, we will have to wait and see.