Will Austria extend border controls with Hungary and Slovenia?

Will Austria extend border controls with Hungary and Slovenia?

Despite the additional budget burden associated with internal border controls, Austria plans to maintain it further for security reasons. The Austrian minister confirmed: “Yes, it is expensive, but it is necessary to ensure the safety of the people of Austria.”

In 2022, the country faced high migration pressure, which made it necessary to have border controls to prevent these movements. In 2023, thanks to the efforts at the border, 80 smugglers have already been arrested.

Slovenia strongly opposed this move, and last year it often criticized Austria for maintaining border controls inside the Schengen area.

True, some changes are still taking place at the border.

С On February 6, the static border control at the checkpoints between Austria and Slovakia was replaced by control in the border zone carried out by mobile teams in coordination with the Slovak authorities.

By the way, from time to time, the Austrian and Slovenian authorities also conduct joint border patrols in an attempt to “figure out” illegal migrants.

Austria first introduced border controls with two neighboring countries in September 2015 in an effort to prevent the massive movements of migrants that were taking place in Europe at the time. Since then, the control has been extended every six months under the pretext that it was necessary to combat illegal migration and human smuggling.

Current control was supposed to expire on May 11. In order to extend it, Austria needs to officially inform the EU Commission.

“In the coming days, we will inform the European Commission that we will have to extend these border checks”, — Minister Karner is sure.

The re-introduction of control measures is regulated by the Schengen Borders Code, and in accordance with it, internal border control can be reintroduced in two cases — those requiring immediate action, and cases where exceptional circumstances jeopardize the overall functioning of the Schengen area.

However, in none of the cases is it stipulated that border controls should last longer than two years.

However, the Schengen Borders Code states that such a measure should only be taken as a last resort.

Currently, France, Iceland, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden have internal border controls , which expires in May in most cases.

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