Sunday

24th Jun 2018

Italy imposes Austria border controls 'for next few days'

  • Italian police are imposing border control checks in Brenner, near the Austrian border (Photo: Jurjen van Enter)

Italian regional authorities announced on Wednesday (2 September) that they are imposing border control checks near Austria.

A statement issued by Bolzano, a German-speaking Alto Adige region in northern Italy, said the police checks are a “temporary measure” to help cope with the number of refugees heading towards Germany.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

"Bavaria is witnessing record arrivals of refugees, mainly via the Balkan route, which is creating an unmanageable situation”, the statement said.

Emilia Muller, Bavaria's social affairs minister, issued the request for the border controls.

A Bolzano spokesperson told this website that Italian police have, since midday, started checking IDs on trains that cross the border. She added that the controls would probably continue "for the next few days."

"Police will try to convince people to stay in Brennero [Italian border town], we will take of them, and after a few days they can travel on because they don't want to stay in Italy."

She said Italy's prime minister Matteo Renzi supports the police checks.

"It is an agreement between our autonomous province and the prime minister in Rome", she said.

The European Commission, for its part, said it had not yet received formal confirmation from Italian authorities regarding the controls but noted that EU states can reintroduce controls in “unforeseeable events”.

The latest border measures follow similar moves by Austria earlier this week after police discovered 71 bodies, said to be Syrian refugees, in the back of a lorry.

Police in Budapest are, since Tuesday, also blocking some 2,000 people at Keleti Railway Terminus from boarding trains to Austria and Germany, prompting protests.

The European Commission has condoned the Austrian border checks, but is understood to be wary of giving the green light to any larger moves to reintroduce internal borders throughout the EU’s Schengen passport-free zone of 26 member states.

But at the same time, Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, has warned “the Schengen question will be on the agenda for many [Schengen member states]” if more is not done to distribute asylum seekers.

Just over 100,000 asylum seekers arrived in Germany in August alone, according to a Bavarian official, cited by Reuters.

The issue is dominating news headlines as the influx of migrants is expected to continue over the coming months.

The UNHCR estimated in August that another 3,000 refugees are likely to cross daily from Greece into the Western Balkans and then Hungary for the foreseeable future.

EU commissioner for migration Dimitris Avramopoulos will be in Budapest next week after first visiting Athens and the Greek island of Kos on Thursday and Friday.

He will be joined by commission vice-president Frans Timmermans and the head of the EU’s border agency Frontex, the police agency Europol, and the asylum support office EASO.

Hungary has requested around €8 million in emergency funds from the commission to help create reception facilities and the commission says it is waiting for Greece to make a similar request for emergency aid.

The commission is unable to provide Greece with money on asylum because the Greek government has yet to set up a responsible budgetary authority for EU funds.

“We have allocated the money for Greece, we just haven’t been physically able to transfer the first disbursement”, an EU official said.

Hungary U-turn on migrant trains prompts unrest

Hungary's decision to block migrants from going to Germany has prompted chaotic scenes in Budapest, with PM Orban to meet European Commission chief Juncker on Thursday for talks on the situation.

Investigation

UK unlawfully copying data from EU police system

The British government is abusing EU travel security systems, making and using illegal copies of outdated information, and putting innocent people at risk of being red-flagged.

GDPR - a global 'gold standard'?

The new EU privacy rules are touted as a global 'gold standard' - but Mexico's former data commissioner warns some nations are far from ready.

New GDPR enforcer says complaints imminent

The European Data Protection Board is a new EU body tasked with enforcing the EU's privacy laws with powers to impose massive fines. Its head Andrea Jelinek told reporters complaints against companies are expected to be immediate.

Feature

EU and Turkey fight for 'lost generation'

Some 300,000 school-age Syrian children in Turkey are not enrolled in classes. Fears they may end up in sweatshops or forced to beg have triggered efforts by the EU, Unicef, and the Turkish government to keep them in school.

News in Brief

  1. Venice Commission: Hungary should repeal NGO law
  2. Trump threatens to slap 20 percent tariff on EU cars
  3. EU closes deficit procedure against France
  4. Romania's ruling party leader gets jail sentence
  5. EU states defer individual decisions on asylum reforms
  6. Commission opens case on Qatar gas flow
  7. EU adopts posted workers directive
  8. EU leaders to call for 'coordinated plan' on AI

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  2. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMHRMI Launches Lawsuits Against Individuals and Countries Involved in Changing Macedonia's Name
  3. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  4. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  6. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  10. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  11. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network

Latest News

  1. Migration row at centre of EU summit This Week
  2. Merkel's woes cast shadow on EU's future
  3. Europe's tech race - trying to keep pace with US and China
  4. Merkel and Juncker's mini-summit risks fiasco
  5. Greece and creditors proclaim 'end of crisis'
  6. How a US firm pushed for EU €2.1trn pension fund
  7. Commission defends Africa migrant plan ahead of summit
  8. Bavaria hijacks EU migration talks

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us