Schengen: European Council approves temporary border controls by five countries for three months

The European Council said on November 11 that it had decided that five countries – Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway – could prolong temporary internal border controls in the Schengen zone for three months.

Slovak interior minister Robert Kaliňák, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council, said: “Our ultimate objective is to get back to Schengen as soon as possible. Although we are not there yet, the situation is improving. The prolongation will therefore be for three months only, and there will be more intensive reporting obligations compared to the previous period.”

Starting from the date of the adoption, Schengen countries Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway should prolong proportionate temporary border controls for a maximum period of three months at the following internal borders:

Austria at the Austrian-Hungarian land border and Austrian-Slovenian land border;
Germany at the German-Austrian land border;
Denmark in the Danish ports with ferry connections to Germany and at the Danish-German land border;
Sweden in the Swedish harbours in the Police Region South and West and at the Öresund bridge;
Norway in the Norwegian ports with ferry connections to Denmark, Germany and Sweden.

Before prolonging such controls, the countries concerned should exchange views with the relevant member states with a view to ensuring that internal border controls are carried out only where it is considered necessary and proportionate.

“They should also ensure that internal border controls are only carried out as a last resort when other alternative measures cannot achieve the same effect,” the European Council statement said.

The member states concerned should notify the other member states, the European Parliament and the Commission accordingly, the statement said.

“Border controls should be targeted and limited in scope, frequency, location and time, to what is strictly necessary to respond to the serious threat and to safeguard public policy and internal security resulting from the secondary movements of irregular migrants.”

The countries that carry out these controls should review each week whether they are still necessary and adjust them to the level of the threat, phasing them out wherever appropriate. They should report to the European Commission every month, the statement said.



The Sofia Globe staff

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