Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala previously announced the extension of border controls until November 12, but the country's authorities made another decision — now the control will be valid until December 12 and can be extended again if the situation remains “unstable and alarming.”
On September 28, the Czech Republic conducted a continuous check of documents on the border with Slovakia. Such measures were taken to prevent illegal migrants from using Czech territory as a transit zone for coming to Germany.
“This is an extreme step. This is how we react to the worsening situation with illegal transit migration through our territory to Germany”, — said then the Minister of the Interior of the Czech Republic Vit Rakusan.
At first it was assumed that the border control would operate for only ten days — until October 8, but later it was extended for another month.
Slovak authorities supported the first decision of the neighbors, taken in September, explaining to Slovak citizens that this measure was not directed against them, but to solve the problem of a large number migrants crossing the Czech Republic in transit.
However, after the extension of controls, the Slovak government has sharply criticized the restrictive measures, saying that internal border checks are contrary to the principles of the Schengen area. “The internal borders of the COP must remain open.”
The introduction of border controls by the Member States of the Schengen Area is governed by the Schengen Borders Code (SBC). According to him, such a step as checks can be taken as a last resort in exceptional situations.
The introduction of border checks can occur in two cases: as part of planned events and in cases requiring immediate action.
For predictable events, such as sports events, the duration of border controls is limited to 30 days. If necessary, the resumption of border controls may be extended for periods of up to 30 days. The total period should not exceed six months.
In cases where immediate action is required, an EU country may introduce border controls for a period of ten days without prior notification to the relevant authority. Controls can be extended for up to 20 days, not exceeding a total period of two months.
In addition to the Czech Republic, several other countries have recently introduced and extended border controls, including Denmark, which checks documents at land borders with Germany.
A similar measure may soon be taken by the Estonian authorities. Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu called on the Estonian government to introduce border controls in order to get a general picture of the number of foreigners in the country.