Sunday

16th Jan 2022

Nine EU states to increase train security

  • Germany: 'We don’t want complete, comprehensive checks on people or luggage ... in Germany or Europe' (Photo: Arjan Eising)

Nine Western European countries decided Saturday (29 August) to increase ad-hoc checks of train passengers' identities and luggage.

But the experience of travelling by train in Europe is to remain largely unchanged.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

“We can’t do and don’t want complete, comprehensive checks on people or luggage in trains in Germany or Europe", Germany's interior minister Thomas de Maiziere said, according to Associated Press.

De Maiziere and several transport and security ministers met in Paris eight days after the failed attack on a Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris.

Representatives from Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the UK, as well as the European Commission, attended the meeting.

They decided identity checks of passengers, as well as luggage checks on stations and trains will increase “where it is necessary”, according to a statement released by French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

The statement did not specify what constitutes "necessary".

“Mixed patrols, made up of law enforcement personnel from several countries, already exist in many countries. We will further reinforce these teams and deploy them more extensively,” the statement said.

The officials also decided to assess what the consequences would be of making it obligatory for international train tickets to be registered using the name of the passenger.

However, despite calls for increased security after a Moroccan gunman boarded an international train carrying an automatic rifle and a handgun, there is reluctance to make train security checks match those of air travel.

“The security and safety of passengers is our first priority. But of course we must not overreact”, EU transport commissioner Violeta Bulc said in a press release.

“It is essential that, as far as possible, public transport remains open and easily accessible. Security must be proportionate to the threat".

EU transport ministers will discuss train safety again when they meet in October.

Train scare prompts talks on EU security

The European Commission won't rule out proposing new legislation after transport ministers in October meet to discuss security after a gunman boarded a Thalys trained armed with an assault rifle.

Frontex chief: 'about time' MEPs probe his agency

Some 14 MEPs have created a group to probe allegations of rights abuse by the EU's border agency Frontex. Its head, Fabrice Leggeri, welcomed its creation and said it "is about time".

Romania denies forcing migrant-boat back to Turkish waters

Romania's ministry of internal affairs wrote to Frontex claiming it did not engage in any illegal pushbacks of people on rubber boats into Turkish territorial waters. The country says it followed EU engagement rules and Greek orders.

LGBTI fears over new Polish member at EU institution

A letter sent to the European Economic and Social Committee by a group of cross-party MEPs fighting for LGBTi rights expresses fears that a recently-appointed Polish member may try to undermine those rights.

News in Brief

  1. Ukraine hit by cyber-attack on government websites
  2. Russia threatens military deployment to Cuba, Venezuela
  3. Polish minister warns of risk of war in Europe
  4. French teachers strike against Covid confusion
  5. Denmark warns of increased spying in Arctic
  6. Erdoğan: Turkey 'committed to EU membership'
  7. German court gives Syrian intelligence officer life sentence
  8. EU to impose sweeping sanctions on Mali

Feature

Covid-hit homeless find Xmas relief at Brussels food centre

The Kamiano food distribution centre in Brussels is expecting 20 people every half hour on Christmas Day. For many, Kamiano is also more than that - a support system for those made homeless or impoverished.

Top court finds Hungary and Poland broke EU rules

EU tribunal said Hungary's legislation made it "virtually impossible" to make an asylum application. Restricting access to international protection procedure is a violation of EU rules.

Latest News

  1. MEPs seek probe into EU commissioner over Bosnia
  2. EU's Borrell contradicts Germany on Russia gas pipeline
  3. It's time for a more geopolitical EU-Turkey cooperation
  4. EU gas and nuclear rules derided as 'biggest greenwash ever'
  5. Even without war, Russia has defeated Europe already
  6. Nato and Russia in talks to reopen embassies
  7. Record-breaking Omicron wave sweeps across Europe
  8. EU agency warns ETS emission-cuts are off track

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us