Croatia is protecting its borders properly, Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said in Zagreb on Thursday after meeting with his Croatian counterpart Davor Bozinovic.
Seehofer, who arrived in Zagreb for an informal meeting of EU interior ministers scheduled for Friday, told the reporters he did not have any objections to the work the Croatian police and other security services were doing regarding protecting the longest external EU border, that between Croatia and Bosnia.
The reporters asked the question in light of numerous reports by migrants, NGOs, and the international media who accuse the Croatian border police of using pushbacks and excessive force against migrants who are trying to cross the border from Bosnia into Croatia.
A former leader of the Christian-Social Union and Prime Minister of Bavaria, Seehofer was a vocal critic of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “open door” policy toward migrants at the height of the migrant crisis in 2015.
"When it comes to protecting the security of citizens and the country, a strong government is needed to ensure the rule of law.
That's how it is in Germany and that's the duty of interior ministers," Seehofer said on Thursday, adding he agreed “one hundred percent” with Croatian Interior Minister Bozinovic regarding issues of migrations and security.
"That will be the topic which we will be dealing with for some time yet," he said, and added that Germany will help Croatia as much as it can in protecting the EU's external border.
In that context, Germany donated ten thermal-vision cameras to Croatia to supervise the border.
Bozinovic said that he would cooperate with Seehofer in breaking up smuggling rings, adding the two had agreed that the EU has to help Greece more, as it is the first point of entry for migrants from the Middle East toward Europe.