NEWS BRIEFS

Schengen planned for 2006

SLOVAKIA wants to join the Schengen border system, which concerns the EU's outer borders, in 2006, suggests an updated complex plan for fighting crime prepared by the Interior Ministry.

The private news agency SITA wrote that the ministry's plan calls for the completed reorganisation of the Border and Foreigners Police Office (ÚHCP) by 2006. The reorganisation will increase the level of protection along the country's eastern border with Ukraine.

The reorganisation began at the start of this year when the ÚHCP was included under the Slovak Police Force Presidium and a new section of border police was created in the eastern Slovak town of Sobrance to secure safety along the Slovak-Ukrainian border.

The proposal for the technical and physical protection of the Slovak-Ukrainian border was prepared in 2003. It should be financed with €35 million from the Schengen transition fund between 2004 and 2006. In 2003, 124 new policemen came to work at the border, and another 69 came to the new border police office in Sobrance.

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