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Schengen enlargement opportunity for free movement

The enlargement of the Schengen zone creates a big opportunity for people to travel freely, Austria's Interior Minister Gunther Platter said on May 17 following his meeting with his Slovak counterpart Robert Kaliňák in Bratislava.

Platter also said it was necessary to provide citizens who live in the Schengen zone with comprehensive security. Platter said Slovakia is making progress in securing the eastern border in line with the set requirements, although there have been many objections in the past from the EU Evaluation Commission with respect to the current security situation there.

Slovakia has made progress in installing the up-to-date equipment needed at the border. At the beginning of June there should be a new border checkpoint opened in Vyšné Nemecké (Košice Region) and renovations should be carried out at the checkpoint in Ubla (Prešov Region).

As much as 50 percent of 189 issues mentioned by the Evaluation Commission in October 2006 have been dealt with and the rest are just a matter of time.

Slovakia will undergo a key evaluation from the Commission in June and by this time should have taken care of all the obstacles between itself and accession to the Schengen zone.

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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