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16th Feb 2019

Germany and Denmark seek to prolong border checks

  • Germany wants to extend internal border checks with Austria and control flights from Greece (Photo: johnnyalive)

Denmark and Germany are seeking to extend their internal border checks beyond a November deadline, following notifications to the European Commission.

Germany's interior minister Thomas De Maziere on Thursday (12 October) said the checks along the Austrian border and flights from Greece need to continue for another six months.

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De Maziere said the controls will continue due to "a considerable amount of illegal migration."

European Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud told reporters in Brussels that both notifications are based on article 25 of the Schengen borders code.

The article may be invoked for security reasons like terrorism or for "irregular secondary movements" where migrants are crossing borders.

Both Denmark and Germany have until now used article 29 of the code, which was invoked following the large number of migrant and asylum-seeker arrivals from the Western Balkans.

Both are now required by law to stop using article 29 to justify the internal checks as of mid-November. That article imposed a two-year limit which expires on 12 November.

Last month, the EU commission proposed to amend the code to address what it described as an evolving security threat among EU states.

The reform includes a proposal to introduce a new article, 27a, that would allow EU states to prolong checks for up to a maximum of three years.

That new code proposal will be discussed on Friday among EU interior ministers in Luxembourg.

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