Countries Call on Brussels to Prolong Border Controls in Schengen Area
Austria, France, Germany, Denmark and Norway have called on Brussels to extend the length of time members of the passport-free Schengen area can reintroduce border controls from two to four years.
“We call on the [European] Commission to submit draft legislation aimed at amending the provisions … to allow member states to reintroduce internal border controls for periods longer than currently provided for,” according to an unofficial document seen by POLITICO.
At the peak of the migration crisis in September 2015, five countries — Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, which is not in the EU — reintroduced internal border controls to stem the flow of refugees and asylum seekers. In May, the countries were authorized to extend the controls until mid-November.
France, which reintroduced border controls in November 2015 in response to the heightened terrorist threat, is scheduled to keep them in place until the end of October.
With the migration crisis arguably under control, the threat of terrorism is reason enough to maintain border controls in some cases, the countries said.
“This [time] limitation does not match the needs in the context of a long-term terrorist threat,” according to the document, which stressed that the reintroduction of internal border controls is essential to strengthening “the area’s capacity to cope with crisis situations.”
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