Security of the Schengen Area
The Schengen Convention was the first and the main tool laying down cooperation in the area of law enforcement. It lays down a complete and legally binding abolition of checks on person at internal borders shared by signatory countries, enabling free movement of persons, goods and services, which are some of the fundamental rights of EU-citizens, while ensuring internal safety. In order to eliminate potential safety shortcomings which will arise as a result of abolition of checks at internal borders, the Convention also contains several compensatory measures. The most important one of them is an intensified police cooperation including mainly:
creating common cooperation structures by establishing a central body or a national point of contact for exchanging and providing information (in the Slovak Republic this task is carried out by the Presidium of the Police Force – International Police Cooperation Office), on the regional level then by creating police and customs cooperation centers (in the Slovak Republic this task is carried out by police cooperation centers);
cross-border hot pursuit;
joint operations carried out in the form of:
a) joint patrols;
b) assistance in the events of natural disasters or serious events;
c) cooperation in international football matches and special events;
d) public officials protection;
creation of joint investigation teams;
secondment of liaison officers;
operation and usage of the Schengen Information System.
The Schengen Convention also enables all Member States to modify and extend their individual police cooperation institutes in bilateral or multilateral agreements beyond the Schengen Convention.
As it is necessary to intensify and generally develop close police cooperation, the Slovak Republic concluded the following bilateral agreements with its neighboring states of the Schengen Area:
Agreement between the Slovak Republic and Czech Republic on Cooperation in the Fight against Crime, Public Order Protection and State Borders Protection (Notification of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic No. 35/2005 Coll.).
Agreement between the Slovak Republic and the Republic of Hungary on Cooperation in Preventing Cross-border Criminal Activity and the Fight against Organized Crime (Notification of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic No. 248/2007 Coll.).
Agreement between the Slovak Republic and the Republic of Poland in Cooperation in the Fight against Crime and Cooperation in Border Areas (Notification of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic No. 638/2006 Coll.).
Agreement between the Slovak Republic and the Republic of Austria on Police Cooperation (Notification of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic No. 252/2005 Coll.).