Croatia as a Transit Country
The phenomenon of irregular migration is closely connected with Croatia’s geopolitical position. Croatia is located in the northern part of the so-called Balkan route. The bustling traffic on this route led in 2011 to the Croatian-Slovenian border being crossed by over 47 million people and 21 million automobiles, making it clearly the most highly trafficked EU external border. Politically, it should be noted that Croatia borders the EU and Schengen states of Slovenia and Hungary as well as the states of Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. Additionally it must be considered that Romania and Bulgaria are EU states but do not belong to the Schengen area, so as regards Schengen borders, the EU and Schengen state of Greece is isolated. Irregular migrants that leave the Schengen state of Greece aiming to enter another Schengen country will, in all likelihood, attempt to cross the Serbian-Hungarian, the Croatian-Hungarian or the Croatian-Slovenian border. This implies the great importance of Croatia as a country of transit for undocumented migrants.
Croatia as Part of the EU Border Regime
Legally, the action of illegal migration is regulated in the Aliens Act, in the penal code, in the law on border surveillance and in other statutes. Croatia has signed a total of 24 readmission agreements with 26 states, of which 17 are EU member states.