Tuesday

14th Aug 2018

EU extends internal border checks

  • A handful of EU states fear many of the people still stuck in Greece will attempt to enter their territories. (Photo: Nikolaj Nielsen)

The EU commission on Tuesday (25 October) endorsed extending internal border controls in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Norway for another three months.

"The controls so far have been necessary and proportionate," EU commissioner for migration Dimitris Avrampolous told reporters in Strasbourg. He described the three month extensions as being ”strictly limited".

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.

... or join as a group

"It is the exception in exceptional circumstances, it is not the new normal," he said, without ruling out possible further extensions later on.

EU rules allow border checks to remain in place for up to two years.

All five states imposed internal checks over the summer in an effort to stem last year's migratory and asylum seeker flows from Greece. Those checks were allowed to remain in place for six months until mid-November as a response to "a serious threat and to safeguard public policy and internal security."

The EU commission says the five states are still under intense pressure, despite a large drop in the number of people entering Greece when compared to last year.

It argues that the "situation in Greece remains fragile" and that people, despite being largely stuck in the country, are still making their way to the EU states.

The EU commission and Greece maintain around 60,000 asylum seekers are in the country although the UN puts the figure closer to 50,000. "This number will not stay in Greece forever," said Avrampolous.

The commission also says the new European border and coast guard agency will not be fully operational until January next year.

The agency, which is still often referred to as Frontex, will have a pool of some 1,500 border guards it can dispatch at a moment’s notice in case of an emergency.

"In three months, we are expecting the full operation of the European border and coast guard," said Avrampolous.

The three-month lag suggests the EU commission is still hopeful to lift internal checks throughout the passport-free Schengen zone, which covers 22 EU states and Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.

It had previously stated it wanted them removed before the end of year.

The EU commission's proposal will now be passed onto the Council, representing member states, for adoption.

EU extends internal border controls

Austria, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and Sweden will be allowed to extend internal border checks following approval by the EU council, representing member states.

EU Commission skirts Italy sanctions on Roma evictions

The European Commission, as guardian of the treaties, declines to sanction Italy's treatment of the Roma following a forced eviction on Thursday of some 300 from a camp in the outskirts of the Italian capital.

News in Brief

  1. Malta to allow Aquarius migrants to disembark
  2. Juncker sends condolences over Genoa bridge collapse
  3. EU pledges €500,000 more for Indonesian earthquake island
  4. EU commission in talks with states on new Aquarius migrants
  5. Man held after car crashes into UK parliament security barrier
  6. Brexit delays better readability of medicines' instructions
  7. Masked youths set dozens of cars alight in Sweden
  8. Spain and Italy refuse new Aquarius-rescued migrants

Opinion

The systemic risk that Europe has to face

One of the biggest systemic risks across Europe, illustrated by Hungary and Poland, is the dominance of the executive power over the judiciary and informal channels of political dependency.

Schengen at stake in Austria-Germany talks

German interior minister Horst Seehofer is in Vienna on Thursday - as his plan to reject some asylum seekers was met by an Austrian threat to close its borders too.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  2. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  3. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  4. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  5. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  6. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  8. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  10. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  12. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma

Latest News

  1. EU commission steps up legal case against Poland
  2. Separation of powers instead of 'Spitzenkandidat' process
  3. Revealed: ExxonMobil's private dinner with Cyprus' top EU brass
  4. What Salvini teaches us about Operation Sophia
  5. 14 lobbyist meetings with Oettinger and Canete went unminuted
  6. UK poll suggests Brits would now vote Remain
  7. Some EU states face delays in 5G preparation
  8. Nordic and Baltic farmers urgently need EU support

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us